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All Press Releases for January 24, 2014 »
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Avoiding truck accidents on Missouri roads during the holidays

Motorists have a responsibility to do all they can to keep roads safe and there are several things they should keep in mind.
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    January 24, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The appearance of fall is the signal that the holiday season is about to begin and this means that there will be an increase of trucks on the roads of Boone County as stores and vendors stock up to meet buyer demands. It also means that the risks of getting into a truck accident are greater.

The Missouri Department of Transportation reports that 323 people were killed in crashes that involved a commercial vehicle between 2009 and 2011. In addition, there were 1,488 disabling injuries associated with heavy vehicles during the same period.

The need for tractor trailer awareness

As the economy has experienced an upswing, the numbers of people dying in traffic accidents across the U.S. have increased. USA Today reports that in 2012 over 34,000 people were killed in accidents and that the number of miles traveled jumped, showing that people are beginning to travel more. With the holidays approaching, the number of people on the road will likely increase and it is more important than ever for drivers to be aware of tractor trailers and give them the space they need.

Many accidents are attributed to truckers and trucking companies, involving distracted driving, overloaded trucks, tired drivers, faulty equipment and trucking company negligence. However, some accidents are the fault of motorists, who fail to take the time to understand the differences between a semi and a car.

Semis are different

In general, truck drivers are conscientious about the responsibility they have to their company and to the motorists that they share the road with. Motorists also have a responsibility to do all they can to keep roads safe and there are several things they should keep in mind. These things include:
- A fully loaded semi weighs up to 80,000 pounds and does not have the ability to stop on a dime; it takes a truck the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop if it is travelling at 55 miles per hour.
- Semis have enormous blind spots - Semis and other large commercial vehicles have a small range of vision and therefore motorists should make it a point to stay out of their blind spots, or no-zones, as they are called. These are located directly behind the semi, directly in front, just behind the driver on the left side and on the right side of the semi's cab.
- More room is needed to make turns - Trying to squeeze by a semi when it is attempting to make a turn is never a good idea. Trucks often need to pull into the middle lane in order to make a right turn.
- Trucks are huge - a trucker has a big job when it comes to maneuvering a large tractor-trailer onto a freeway or change lanes. Motorists can help by flashing their lights to let the trucker know they will yield the lane to them.

It is important to remember that truckers are not on the road to make motorists' lives miserable. They have a job to perform and if motorists show some understanding and courtesy, they can protect themselves and everyone else. When a motorist is injured by a semi, they should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to make sure their rights are protected.

Article provided by Bley & Evans, LC
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