As most of us know, commercial trucking accidents occur regularly in Georgia and all across this nation. That’s why the National Transportation Safety Board has placed the need to “strengthen commercial trucking safety” on its “Most Wanted List for 2015.” In fact, we’ve just experienced another rash of trucking accidents in our area.
Recent Georgia Commercial Trucking Accidents On March 20, 2015, all lanes on southbound Georgia 400 at Holcomb Bridge Road were closed for 20 minutes after there was an accident involving a pick-up truckand a tractor-trailer. Although the lanes were soon reopened, everyone in the area was asked to try and find alternate routes to their destinations.
On March 17, 2015, two cars and a tractor trailer were in an accident near Milledgeville. According to one witness, a Nissan pickup truck “turned into the tractor trailer’s path.” After the two vehicles collided, the utility trailer being pulled by the Nissan “broke loose becoming airborne [and] landing on top of a Chevrolet Impala that was heading eastbound.” One person died at the scene and three others were taken to area hospitals.
On March 16, 2015, a fiery tractor trailer crash took place on Interstate 285, just past I-675 in DeKalb County. According to a man named Terrance Cooper, “the crash started when a truck hit him and pinned him to the median.” His truck then flipped over and his diesel tank exploded. Cooper says he finally managed to crawl away from the truck just before it exploded.
On March 1, 2015, a woman driving in her car was killed in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer in Cherokee County. According to news reports, the accident occurred around “2:30 am Saturday on I-575 northbound and Airport Drive.” Initial reports indicated that Kristen E. Adams of Jasper was “traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-575 between Ball Ground and Canton . . . [when she apparently] struck a tractor trailer head on.”
Unfortunately, she was pronounced dead at that location and the truck driver was taken to a nearby hospital. As these serious events indicate, far too many accidents involving tractor-trailers keep occurring. However, not all of them may have been caused by the larger vehicles. As of 2012, there were just over 10.5 million larger trucks on this country’s roads, logging over about 280 billion miles each year. Several years earlier, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 76 percent of fatalities from tractor-trailer collisions were the occupants of the passenger vehicle.”
These statistics clearly reveal that if we want to turn this dangerous trend around, all of us – regardless of the type of vehicle we drive – must start routinely observing basic safety guidelines. If we’ll each do this, we can soon start sharing the roads in a much safer fashion. Here are some safe driving hints that all tractor trailer drivers – as well as all passenger car and smaller truck drivers — must carefully review and follow daily.Safety Guidelines Governing All Roads Shared with Tractor Trailers/Commercial Vehicles
- Passenger car and smaller truck drivers must yield as often as possible. After all, the larger commercial vehicles are much heavier and have a harder time safely reacting to sudden changes on the roads. Try to catch sight of the mirrors on the commercial truck’s cab – if you can’t see them, the odds are great that the truck driver can’t see you either;
- Never tailgate or try to “cut off” a large tractor trailer. Also, you should rarely try to pass one unless the two of you are the only vehicles visible on a very long stretch of straight road;
- Tractor trailer drivers (and all others) should never drive for over 10 hours at a time. Driver “fatigue” has proven to be one of the major causative factors in numerous tractor-trailer accidents over the years. No one is able to stay fully alert when driving for extremely long hours. If you insist on doing this, you’re not only risking your own life, you’re endangering everyone else on the road;
- Never drink, use strong drugs of any kind — or talk/text on a phone while driving. All of these behaviors create different forms of distracted driving. Those who frequently indulge in these habits often wind up dying – along with their innocent victims;
- All vehicles must be maintained in optimal condition, including the brakes and tires. No larger vehicle can afford to make sudden stops without being properly maintained;
- Always drive the proper speed, especially in poor weather conditions. As most drivers know, it’s much harder to react quickly and safely to a sudden road problem when traveling at a higher speed;
- Never overload your truck. Fortunately, most states maintain weighing stations which can help monitor this situation;
- Truck drivers should have themselves checked for sleep apnea at least once a year. This is especially true if you have ever literally fallen asleep at the wheel. If you postpone this test, you may not live as long as you had hoped.
If you’ve recently suffered serious injuries due to an accident with a large commercial truck or other vehicle, please contact the law offices of Atlanta personal injury attorney Lloyd Bell. You can reach his office by calling: 1-855-253-1368. Ask to schedule your FREE consultation. Mr. Bell is also available to discuss your possible need to file a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one in a fatal vehicle crash.