August 28, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Tractor trailers are a common sight on the highways and streets of Pittsburgh and, inevitably, sometimes a crash occurs between one of these big rigs and a passenger vehicle. While many are attributed to trucker error, there are still things that drivers can do to avoid a trucking accident.
Truckers and crashes
The 2010 Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics from the state's Department of Transportation reports that 157 people died in collisions involving heavy trucks. This is still significantly lower than numbers from 2006 and 2007 which were 192 and 194, respectively, but higher than 2009's numbers which shows 136 deaths. It is unknown how many injuries were attributed to heavy trucks or what percent of accidents were caused by either the truckers or motorists.
Just recently, a Pennsylvania woman was injured in New Jersey when a tractor trailer hit her car late at night while possibly changing lanes, according to NewJersey.com. Investigators are still trying to determine what happened to cause the accident that involved three vehicles; the woman's car was hit by another vehicle after the first impact. The tractor trailer driver died from injuries he received after his semi crashed into trees. The woman's types of injuries were unknown but reported to be minor.
What motorists can do to prevent accidents
Truckers are not perfect but when they make an error in judgment or act recklessly, it is often the motorists who suffer the most since their vehicle is significantly smaller than a semi. However, by motorists educating themselves about the limitations of heavy trucks, they can avoid becoming involved in a crash.
Common tips to follow:
No zones -- If a motorist cannot see a trucker, than it only makes sense that the trucker cannot see the motorist. A motorist should be aware that truckers also have blind spots, or no zones, and these are bigger than on a passenger vehicle. Truckers are unable to see vehicles behind them, on the sides of their trailer or directly in front of their grill.
Trucks take longer to stop -- Sometimes a motorist will pass a trucker in heavy traffic and then move into the space between the semi and another vehicle. However, this can put the motorist in danger because if the motorist has to slam on the brakes, then so does the trucker and these big rigs take significantly longer to stop.
Do not try to sneak around a truck making a turn -- Trucks are big and therefore, they need a lot of space in order to make a right or left turn. If the motorist tries to sneak around them, they could find themselves squeezed by the truck.
Give trucks room to merge -- Trucks are big and heavy and this means that it takes longer for them to move into a lane or pull out into traffic. Motorists should always give them the space they need.
If motorists educate themselves on how they can accommodate these big rigs and how semis operate, they can often anticipate what a trucker is going to do and avoid a dangerous situation. For motorists and passengers that have been injured as the result of a trucker's actions, they should meet with an attorney to discuss their case.