It is intimidating to share the road with 18-wheelers even in good driving conditions. Most automobile drivers are on high alert when in the presence of these large trucks and exercise extra caution when passing or following these vehicles. But if you come across an 18-wheeler parked on the side of the road or even stopped in a lane of traffic and you are unable to stop, it is not unlike hitting a solid brick wall. These accidents can cause severe, long-term and permanently disabling injuries and in many cases, involve fatalities. Did the truck driver follow all the required safety precautions when it stopped? How difficult is it to pursue legal action with a trucking company ? What are examples of 18-wheelers causing accidents while legally stopped?
- It is extremely dangerous for a large truck to move at a very slow speed on an interstate, especially in the dark or in inclimate weather. Many drivers are fooled by the lights on the truck, thinking it is traveling at a much higher speed than in actuality. There may be several reasons for the truck to drive slow — was there something wrong mechanically with the truck causing the driver to travel at a speed considerably lower than the rest of the traffic? If the driver did not follow federal requirements that state if there is a mechanical malfunction, the driver needs to pull off the road, set up flares or the triangular warning reflectors. If the driver did not follow the correct protocol, they may be found guilty of negligence. If the truck is traveling at a very low speed because of gradual inclines in the road, they must use the right lane — a designated climbing lane if one is available — and turn on their four-way flashers.
- There are occasions where an 18-wheeler stops in the center of the road because of a mechanical malfunction and are unable to get to the shoulder. The same federal regulations go into effect as if they were on the shoulder. The driver needs to put flares or orange triangular reflectors 50 feet apart to give drivers a heads-up and time to take action to avert the stopped truck. If the trucker does not comply with these regulations, either because they chose not to or their employer did not supply them with the flares or reflectors, they run a very high risk of having someone run into the back of the truck. These crashes seldom end well, as the drivers are usually traveling at a relatively high speed and can result in serious injuries or deaths.
- A truck may be disabled in the middle of the road as a result of a previous accident. Many times, it is discovered that the truck was traveling at an unsafe speed and flips over going around a bend. Drivers coming along after the truck unable to see the disabled truck and crash into the back of the 18-wheeler. If the truck driver is found to be driving in an unsafe manner, the law states that the trucking company or person driving are responsible for any accidents resulting from their irresponsible actions. In this case, it may be in your best interest to reach out to a truck accident attorney Dekalb County GA residents rely on.
Sharing the road with 18-wheelers can be safe so long as both the truck driver and the automobile driver both follow the rules of the road and remain attentive to conditions and circumstances happening around them.
If you find yourself a victim of a truck accident or want to know more information about these cases, you may benefit from reaching out to attorney Andrew Lynch, P.C.