The Law Office of George O. Haskell, IV

Safety rises when drivers take precautions around trucks

Georgia is the crossroads of the South, and limited-access highways like the many interstates connecting the state are one of the best ways to get around. Highways make it easy and fast to get places around the Peach State, but safety is always a concern.

Trucks like tractor-trailers and tow vehicles can pose specific dangers, as nearly any collision with heavy equipment on the road causes significant damage and injury. This is usually due to the sheer weight differences between big rigs and passenger cars or pickup trucks. Most commercial trucks weigh more than 20 times more than a typical car.

Most heavy trucks, especially those hauling freight in conventional box trailers, also run the risk of "overriding" cars in a collision. This is when a smaller vehicle slides under a truck during a crash, which can pose extreme hazards to the occupants of the car.

Heavier vehicles will always have a larger stopping distance, so predictable behavior by nearby drivers is always appreciated by truckers. Drivers who get too close or move too quickly, even stopping too quickly, can put themselves at high risk for a collision when trucks nearby cannot stop or maneuver fast enough.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that a full third of car accidents with trucks happen when cars are in areas directly in front, behind or next to trucks where their drivers cannot see. Cars and trucks fare better when they keep enough distance to be easily seen.

Victims of truck collisions have the right to seek financial damages through a civil lawsuit or settlement with the parties at fault. An attorney can help prepare and file such a case.

Source: Esurance, "Sharing the road with large trucks," accessed April 27, 2018

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