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Other Drivers Often Share Fault in Commercial Truck Accidents, Attorneys in Orlando Warn

Posted by copeland on October 11, 2013

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Collisions involving large tractor trailer trucks can be devastating. After all, these vehicles legally can carry loads up to 22 tons and proposed legislation soon may allow states to grant interstate access to six-axle trucks weighing up to 97,000 pounds, up from the current limit of 80,000 pounds. Even while carrying a relatively light load, commercial trucks are a potentially deadly force on America's highways.

Media headlines are quick to point out that commercial truck drivers taking gigs on little rest often are to blame in tragic accidents. But that's not always the case. In fact, statistics show that the fault for most tractor trailer-involved collisions lies at least in part with the drivers of passenger vehicles traveling in front of, behind or alongside those massive trucks. Driving in an 18-wheeler's blind spot or hitting the brakes while driving in front of a large commercial truck can force the truck driver to make a sudden lane shift or other reactionary movement. This can cause a tons-heavy load to shift, which in turn can cause a truck to fishtail, overturn or jackknife. When that happens, everyone traveling in near proximity is in danger.

To keep you and your family safe from commercial truck accidents, attorneys with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates offer these tips:

  • Stay out of a truck driver’s blind spot. In fact, it's safer to travel behind a tractor trailer rather than beside it, should the truck switch lanes or begin to turn;
  • When driving behind a commercial truck, be sure to leave adequate room between your vehicles. Trucks hauling heavy loads require more stopping time, which requires a driver to start braking far ahead of the next stop or turn;
  • If you're driving alongside a truck that starts to move into your lane, flash your lights or lay on your horn to alert the driver; 
  • Avoid in-car distractions - Let that cell phone call go to voicemail, turn down the loud music and insist that your passengers (especially children) talk quietly and stay safely in their seats;
  • Get plenty of rest and minimize stress. Particularly during the holidays, when more tractor trailers are on the road delivering holiday merchandise to stores nationwide, it's critical that you're alert behind the wheel. In fact, why not minimize your time on the road by doing your holiday shopping online?

If you or your dependents are injured in a commercial truck collision, attorneys urge you to get medical attention immediately, even if you don't believe you're significantly injured. Then, call a lawyer experienced in handling tractor trailer accident cases. Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates can be reached 24/7 at 888-999-9149.