Trucking and Big Rig Accidents

A high percentage of traffic crashes and deaths involve big rig trucks. A large big rig truck is any truck whose vehicle weight is over 10,000 pounds. Because of their size, crashes involving big rig trucks are more likely to result in serious injury and death than are car crashes. Approximately 10% of all those injured in a big rig truck crash will die. Big rig trucks are more likely to be involved in multiple-vehicle crashes than are passenger cars. Both Federal and state regulations govern trucking and cover areas such as safety of equipment and hours of the drivers. Trucking companies are required to keep records of such information and it will be necessary to find and research such records. Poor equipment and driver fatigue can be causes of such crashes, and a careful study of the trucking company records may be needed to determine if negligence has occurred.

  • Never change lanes abruptly around a big rig truck
  • Slow down to let big rig trucks have the right of way
  • Drive at a safe speed
  • Stay alert to traffic signals and road conditions
  • Use turn signals
  • Avoid driving alongside or immediately behind a big rig truck
  • Never cut in front of a big rig truck, especially when it may need to stop

Click here to view other traffic safety related reports and studies conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Because motorist safety is so important to prevent these types of serious big rig injury accidents, The American Trucking Association has developed some “Share The Road” guidelines for motorists to follow.

The American Trucking Association’s Share The Road Guidelines for Motorists:

  • Never cut in front of a big rig truck – Fully loaded  trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds and take the length of a football field to stop. Most cars weigh only 3,000 pounds.
  • Don’t linger alongside a big rig truck – There are large blind spots around big rig trucks where cars momentarily “disappear” from view and the driver can’t see you.
  • Pass big rig trucks quickly – To make themselves visible cars should not linger near big rig trucks, and should move past them or slow to back off out of the blind spot.
  • Changing lanes – Change lanes when you can see both of the big rig truck’s headlights in your rearview mirror.
  • If possible, pass a big rig truck on the left, not on the right – A big rig truck’s blind spot on the right runs the length of the trailer and extends out 3 lanes. Motorists should try to avoid passing through this large blind spot.
  • Keep a safety cushion around big rig trucks – Try to leave 10 car length safety cushion in front of a big rig truck and stay back 20-25 car lengths. Following a big rig truck too closely obscures your view.
  • Check the big rig truck’s mirrors – If you’re following a big rig truck and you can’t see the driver’s face in the big rig truck’s side mirrors, the big rig truck driver can’t see you.
  • Allow big rig trucks adequate space to maneuver – big rig trucks make wide turns at intersections and require additional lanes to turn, so motorists should allow a truck the space it needs to maneuver.

Trucking and Big Rig accident victims face medical bills, loss of wages, physical pain, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life. If injuries are severe or permanent, families suffer economic loss, mental anguish and the loss of companionship in caring for an injured family member. In the event of death, families are torn apart without any warning.

It is important to know what to do to protect the legal rights of yourself and your loved ones. Selecting the right big rig accident lawyer is an important decision. You should choose someone who is experienced, aggressive and dedicated to working to get fair compensation for your big rig accident injuries. Over the past we have successfully handled thousands of big rig accident injury cases. That is why you should contact the Law Offices of Clancey, Doyle & O’Donnell.