If you've ever had a tractor-trailer or other commercial vehicle come barreling up behind you on the road, you understand how utterly terrifying such situations can be. The main problem is that you can't control another driver's behavior and, even if you notice a potential hazard, there may be little to nothing you can do to avoid it. Truck drivers are obligated to adhere to the strict traffic regulations and safety standards set to help keep them, other motorists and pedestrians as safe as possible.
Several issues increase the chances of commercial vehicle collisions and quite possibly place you at risk for injury, if you happen to be nearby when a truck driver encounters one or more of these challenges. If you witness someone whose driving behavior seems erratic or dangerous, it's important to have a plan in mind and to try to calmly and safely execute it, such as taking the nearest exit, dropping back in traffic or pulling off the road to create distance between your vehicle and the truck in question.
High-risk situations for all truckers
Perhaps you've driven a commercial vehicle in the past or maybe even earn a living doing so. Even if you haven't, you likely understand how dangerous the following situations can be:
- Topography has a lot to do with road safety, especially for larger vehicles. While you may be able to take a hairpin turn quite easily in a small sports car, truckers who navigate such turns too quickly or sharply are at risk for jack-knifing or careening off the road.
- Trucks that haul chemicals increase your danger risk as a driver sharing the road with one of these vehicles. In addition to physical injury risk from impact in a collision, toxic chemicals are often flammable and pose other serious health risks, as well.
- There are hourly regulations for how long truck drivers may stay on the road without rest. A particular risk comes from the oil and gas industry though, where hour regulations are substantially less stringent than they are for other commercial truck drivers.
- Driving fast is always a collision risk. Truckers who speed are a menace to Kentucky travelers because they are far more likely to lose control of steering or to tip over on the road.
Have you ever been driving along the highway to come upon flag cars signaling a wide load up ahead? Trucks hauling wide loads pose a danger to anyone in the vicinity. Sadly, there's no shortage of news stories about commercial truck drivers falling asleep at their wheels or otherwise acting negligent to cause serious collisions and injuries, often times even death, to others.
If you suffer injury in a trucking accident
If you survive a truck accident, you and your loved ones are no doubt feeling especially thankful that you are still alive, even if you know you are in for a long, arduous recovery due to the injuries you suffered. You may also be concerned about how you will cover the cost of your medical bills or replace the wages you are going to lose while you take time off work to recuperate. Other Kentucky accident victims have recovered their financial losses by filing personal injury claims in civil court, and you may be able to as well.