Are Tractor-Trailers Safe Enough?
Connecticut highway drivers are accustomed to the sight of large tractor-trailer trucks carrying cargo up and down the Eastern Seaboard. These trucks are a crucial part of our region’s economy. Unfortunately, they can also be the cause of increased traffic and pose significant safety risks to other vehicles on the road.
A recent accident in upstate New York has brought new attention to the dangers associated with these massive vehicles. In the accident, two cars became lodged underneath a tanker truck, resulting in four deaths. Members of Congress are calling for new regulations to require side guards on all tractor-trailers to prevent cars from being able to slide under them during a collision (known as an underride accident).
The estimates are that half of all fatalities from accidents involving tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles were the result of underride accidents. Currently, federal regulations only require protective railings at the rear of the trailer, not the sides, although some cities have stricter rules.
Take Safety Into Your Own Hands
No matter what safety regulations exist in your area, it’s imperative that you take precautions when sharing the road with larger vehicles. For example, be aware that drivers of tractor-trailers have limited visibility compared to passenger vehicles, and need much longer to come to a complete stop. When on multi-lane highways, avoid driving next to a tractor-trailer except when necessary to pass, and leave plenty of room both in front of and behind them.
Another hazard involving semis is that they have a very wide turning radius. When these trucks are on city streets, they have to swing wide to get around corners. Other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists need to be alert in these situations and allow them extra room to make a turn.
When Accidents Happen
Accidents with tractor-trailers, which often lead to more severe injuries than accidents involving smaller vehicles, happen for a number of reasons. Driver fatigue and driver distraction both play a significant role. Reckless driving and excessive speed may also play a role. Sometimes the drivers of these vehicles have not been properly trained or do not have enough experience to be operating them safely.
No matter how many precautions you take, collisions can still happen, and when they involve large tractor-trailers, the consequences can be severe and even deadly. The personal injury attorneys at Naizby Law have decades of experience when it comes to representing injured Connecticut motorists. Contact one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today at (203) 245-8500 to schedule a free consultation.
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For over 20 years, John has exclusively represented people (not corporations).
John has received the America’s Top 100 Attorneys Lifetime Achievement Award.
Since the year 2000, John has been a Board Certified Civil Lawyer.
John is a graduate and senior instructor at the Trial Lawyers College.