Drivers in the United States are used to seeing semi-trucks on the roads, but sharing the road with such large vehicles can still be intimidating. Although accidents do happen, and the sheer size of semi-trucks makes these accidents particularly dangerous, there are ways to ensure your safety while sharing the road.
Common Types of Semi-Truck Accidents
There are many different kinds of accidents which can occur with a semi-truck, which may or may not include other vehicles. Of particular danger to other drivers are:
- Tire blow-outs – This occurs when a tire on the semi-truck or trailer bursts for some reason. This can cause the truck driver to lose control and tire debris can strike nearby vehicles.
- Rear-ending – Whether you stop suddenly and are struck from behind by a truck or a truck stops in front of you and you do not stop before striking or sliding under the trailer, this is a dangerous scenario. In both cases, the size difference between the two vehicles nearly guarantees that you will sustain significant damage and injury.
- Unsecured loads – In this accident situation, typically involving a flat-bed trailer, the cargo being hauled is not adequately secured. The load can then come loose, causing damage and injury to other drivers on the road.
The good news is that semi-trucks are responsible for carrying a greater degree of insurance than a standard passenger vehicle. Depending on the size of the truck and cargo being hauled, the truck owner or driver may be required to carry anywhere from $750,000 to $5,000,000 in insurance. This higher insurance level is due to the greater risk of damage and injury in an accident, and increases the chances that insurance will be able to cover your expenses.
Preventing an Accident
Many semi-truck accidents could be prevented by simply understanding how semi-trucks and drivers operate. These trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles and, therefore, need more room and time to accelerate, stop, and turn. A good general rule when driving around semis is that the driver of a semi cannot see you if you cannot see his or her mirrors. You should also take some basic precautions when sharing the road with semis:
- Signal early when in front of a truck
- Do not brake suddenly
- Do not follow too closely or merge too early
- Ensure that you have room before attempting to pass
- Avoid driving alongside a semi for long periods of time
These precautions will not only help to prevent you from being injured in an accident, but will also reduce your potential liability and increase your compensation in case of an accident.
After a Truck Accident Accident
No matter how careful you are, accidents still happen. In case of an accident involving a semi-truck, you can help your case by documenting the accident scene and conditions, including taking photographs. It is also important to obtain the truck driver’s insurance information and Department of Transportation number, which will be posted on the side of the truck. These steps will help to show who was at fault and assist you in pursuing compensation from the insurance company and, if needed, through a personal injury suit.
Contact a Charleston Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi, contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. The attorneys at the David Aylor Law Offices will help you to collect compensation for your injuries from the person at fault.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.