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Orlando residents are urged to drive safely around tractor trailers

If you happen to become involved in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, it is important to get help as soon as possible after the accident.
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    December 07, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Orlando residents are urged to drive safely around tractor trailers

Tractor trailers are an essential part of American infrastructure, continually delivering goods to states across the nation. According to the American Trucking Association, there are nearly 3.5 million large trucks navigating the roads at any given time. It's no surprise that over 3,600 people were killed in 2011 due to large truck accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown an 8.7 percent increase in large truck fatalities across the U.S. from 2010 to 2012. Orlando residents may become frustrated when sharing the road with large trucks; however, it is essential to drive safely around them in order to prevent further accidents from occurring.

One recent incident in Hernando County proved to be fatal after a truck driver swerved his tractor trailer off of Interstate 75 and hit a tree, killing him instantly. In Orlando, two young people were killed while they were changing a tire on the side of the Interstate and were hit by a large truck. The driver of the truck didn't stop and is still at large. That same week, another pedestrian was hit by a big rig while crossing Interstate 595.

Truck driver restrictions

The trucking industry is held to specific standards when it comes to load size, weight and driver requirements in order to prevent accidents on the freeways. Truck drivers are screened for alcohol use, as well as for use of controlled substances. They must obtain a commercial driver's license before operating a large truck weighing over 10,000 pounds or carrying hazardous materials. Drivers must follow specific hours of service regulations, keeping them from spending too much time on the road or from driving drowsy.

Tips for sharing the road

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has created the Share the Road campaign, which educates drivers on how they can share the road with a variety of vehicles, including large trucks. Drivers should practice the following:
-Be aware of blind spots: Remember that large trucks have large blind spots, preventing them from seeing vehicles that are a certain distance behind, in front and alongside the truck. Try not to linger in these areas.
-Allow extra turning room at traffic lights: In order to make a right turn, truck drivers often need to swing out to the left. Give them plenty of room to maneuver, as they may not be able to see you.
-Don't cut in front of a truck: Large trucks take significantly longer to brake than cars. Changing lanes right in front of a truck may cause them to slam on their brakes, increasing the risk of an accident.
-Be aware: When driving around large trucks, be aware of your surroundings. Watch for fallen materials, blown tires and other hazards.

Being courteous of others while on the road can help to prevent fatal accidents.

What to do in case of a collision

If you happen to become involved in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, it is important to contact an attorney who specializes in dealing with tractor-trailer accident cases. By teaming up with an experienced attorney, you can increase your chances of getting the compensation that you deserve.

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