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Recent I-285 Crash Emphasizes Dangers of Sharing the Roadway with Tractor Trailers

Americans rely heavily on tractor trailers. Many goods are transported to businesses and consumers by truck. Due to the size and weight of these vehicles, they are capable of causing catastrophic harm to other cars on the road if they cause an accident. A recent accident in Atlanta is a notable example of the dangers of heavy trucks.

A big rig traveling on I-285 attempted to change lanes when it collided with another vehicle. Upon collision, the truck fell on its driver side, blocking all lanes on the highway. The driver who was struck escaped with minor injuries, as did the truck driver.

Changing lanes can be risky for any driver, but trucks have larger blind spots, and may not always see a car in the lane over. This, combined with a big rig driver’s failure to signal a lane change, can result in a catastrophic crash that puts the small vehicle at great risk of being seriously injured.

There are other aspects of operating a tractor trailer that are inherently difficult and are more dangerous than driving a passenger car. These can include:

  • Left turns — Due to their length and width, trucks are always at risk of hitting other cars or pedestrians crossing the street when making left turns, as they require a wide berth and almost must enter into lanes with oncoming traffic.
  • Stopping  Tractor trailers, when fully loaded with cargo, can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds and move at more than 60 miles per hour on highways. A truck at this weight and speed takes more time and distance to slow down or stop. Tractor trailer drivers may fail to slow down in time to avoid a sudden hazardous condition on the roadway.
  • Inclement weather Driving a tractor trailer in bad weather is challenging and risky. A tractor trailer’s overall length and the pivot point between the truck and trailer can make recovery from a skid on a slick road impossible. In addition, the wide and tall trailers catch an enormous amount of air. High winds can make a tractor trailer wander all over the road or even turn the rig on its side, causing it to jackknife.

Accidents involving tractor trailers can be complicated, and the truck driver might not always be completely at fault. If the trucking company hires a driver who is underqualified, it might be liable for issues with the driver selection process or poor training. If a mechanical problem, such as brake failure, causes a crash, the shop that does the maintenance on the vehicle might be responsible. If an accident is caused by improper cargo loading, the company that provided the logistics services could be liable. In certain cases, the truck manufacturer could be held responsible for a design defect or manufacturing error if either cause an accident.

Anyone who has been in an accident involving a tractor trailer would be wise to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer to protect their rights and financial interests.

Jason & Bradley, LLC, located in Stone Mountain, GA handles a wide variety of road accident cases, including collisions involving tractor trailers. The attorneys and support staff pursue every matter with integrity and diligence. If you or a family member has been injured in a truck accident, please feel free to contact us online or call 404-297-9933 for an initial consultation.