Commercial vehicle safety is a concern for many who share the nation’s roads and highways. With large commercial trucks shouldering much of the burden for shipping goods across the country, it is inevitable that accidents will occur. The injuries caused by truck accidents tend to be very serious, just by virtue of the size of a truck and the force of impact that can result when there is any kind of collision involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer, an 18-wheeler truck, or another large truck.
There are numerous federal laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry, most of which can be found in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The job of these laws is to prevent accidents by establishing standards that trucking companies, owners, and drivers must meet, and often determine who is responsible for a trucking accident. Agencies that regulate truck driving include the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Additionally, every state has their own set of trucking regulations.
How to prevent an accident:
- Trucks take up a lot of space and therefore the driver will have many blind spots. If you can’t see a truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you. Thus, noticing and avoiding these blind spots around trucks is a smart way to avoid an accident.
- Big commercial vehicles need a greater stopping distance than other vehicles. Staying at a distance and maintaining a large stopping distance between a car and a large truck reduces the risk of being involved in a rear-end collision. Never cut in front of a large truck for this reason.
- A key to commercial vehicle safety is understanding the hazards involved with passing a truck on the right while the truck is turning right. Knowing that trucks must swing wide to the left to negotiate right turns safely will help you to refrain from assuming that this behavior means that the truck is turning left. Also make sure that you see the truck’s turn signals before trying to pass it.
- Calling the authorities if you see unsafe driving is another way to prevent accidents. Commercial vehicle safety depends on many eyes on the road. Your call could save lives.
Knowing how to prevent an accident is not the only protection you need. Personal injury cases involving truck accidents are more complex to pursue than traffic accidents involving cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, or bicycles.
If you have been in an accident with a truck, it is important to contact an injury lawyer who understands the mechanics and determining forces that can cause your injuries during a truck accident. Immediately getting an investigator to the accident scene to assess any damages or other evidence can help your case. Having an attorney review the truck’s maintenance records and examine the driver’s logbook to determine whether he or she violated any safety regulations, such as driving longer than the legally allowed number of hours per shift is critical. Commercial vehicle safety rules and regulations are often not enough to protect drivers, cyclists and pedestrians from the negligence of a few truck operators.
According to the epic wit of Jackie Mason, “If an Englishman gets run down by a truck he apologizes to the truck.” Don’t let this be you! You may need to drop the chivalry and play hardball in order to get reimbursed for hospital bills, and receive the appropriate compensation for your pain and suffering.
Request a Free Truck Accident Case Evaluation today.