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Tips for Avoiding Tractor-Trailer Crashes

Posted on in Truck Accidents

Chicago truck accident attorney, Illinois truck driver fatigue attorneys, tractor-trailer, tractor-trailer crashes, truck accidentsSome of the most severe accidents that occur on America’s roads are motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks. Not only is this due to the size of a large truck and the impact it can have on a smaller vehicle, such as a passenger car, but it is also due to the nature of the trucking industry.

The trucking industry has come under fire as of late, after a highly publicized accident in which a fatigued driver, operating a truck, caused a fatal crash. According to a publication from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, the effects of large trucks have a much greater impact on the occupants of vehicles in accidents, and the risks are higher when more people are in the vehicle at the time of a crash.

In 2012, crashes involving tractor-trailers accounted for just 3.6 percent of all motor vehicle crashes. Yet accidents involving tractor-trailers amounted to nearly 17 percent of all fatal crashes due to the increased severity of such incidents. State Farm reports that a 2006 study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that more than three-quarters of all fatalities involving tractor-trailer accidents were those in passenger vehicles. To put such figures into perspective, however, the same report notes that there were 777 fatal passenger car accidents in 2012, as compared to 91 fatal crashes involving truck-tractors with semi-trailers.

Also reported by State Farm, there are several things drivers can do to avoid crashes with tractor-trailers while on the highway as there are an estimated 11 million tractor-trailers in operation in the country that log over 288 billions miles per year. This figure can seem daunting, but the most important factor to avoiding crashes is simply being aware of the dangers of these large vehicles and anticipating common errors. State Farm offers tips for avoiding such crashes, including (but not limited to):

  • Being aware of blind spots;

  • Allowing the truck room, especially when going uphill;

  • Keeping a safe distance;

  • Always using turn signals when passing;

  • Being aware of wide turns; and

  • Avoiding changing lanes abruptly.

Finally, remember that weaving in and out of traffic may seem feasible in a small vehicle, but any behavior that causes the tractor-trailer to have to abruptly stop or slow down can lead to increased risk of accident.

If you have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident in Illinois in which you were not at fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced Chicago truck accident attorney at the law offices of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today.

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