Eighteen-wheelers are very large and dangerous vehicles, and they have the potential to cause shocking lethal auto accidents. Something as simple as a tire blowout can cause a truck driver to lose control and collide with other vehicles.
Objects or cargo from these large trucks can also come loose if not properly secured, and cause damage the truck driver may not even be aware of. When trucks get involved in an accident or experience mechanical failure, other people can suffer devastating consequences. You should learn more about these incidents so you’ll know how to protect yourself or get help if they occur.
Recent fatal truck accident in California
One of the most recent fatal semi accidents that made news headlines occurred in Los Angeles. A veteran LAPD officer with 10 years’ experience was driving with his rookie partner when their cruiser collided with a semi on a residential street.
The truck driver and rookie officer survived the crash with injuries, but the veteran officer did not. The cause of the accident was reported as mechanical failure on the part of the 18-wheeler, though police did not specify what kind of failure occurred.
What is known is that the police cruiser was crushed beyond repair, and the deceased officer’s partner was lucky to walk away with her life. This kind of accident is not uncommon; in fact, large truck accidents and malfunctions are one of the leading causes of auto accidents in the US.
Drive with caution
While you can’t control the vehicles around you, or how other drivers behave on the road, you can drive carefully to minimize incidents. Here are some safety tips for driving around semi trucks:
Give the space
Be extra careful in bad weather
Drive completely off the road when you pull over
Semis are very large, and have much larger blind spots and more difficulty braking than a car does. By maintaining a safe distance and always staying visible to the driver of a semi, you’ll keep yourself farther out of harm’s way.
If you need to pass a big truck, do it quickly and safely. Don’t linger alongside the truck, where the driver will have difficulty seeing you. Also, driving more carefully in bad weather is always a good practice, but especially near an 18-wheeler.
These tips can help you avoid incidents with these trucks as much as possible.
Seek legal assistance
One of the best ways to protect yourself when you have been involved in an accident involving a semi truck is to seek the help of an attorney. A majority of tractor-trailer accidents are the fault of the commercial driver, and that means you are probably entitled to compensation for the damage caused to your property, as well as any resulting medical bills.
Insurance companies can be difficult to work with, because they tend to offer you as little claim money as possible to maintain their profits. You may need to take the insurer to court to get fair payment, and maneuvering through the legal system can be difficult if you’re not experienced in these matters.
Hiring an attorney will ensure that you are properly represented in court, and raise your odds of obtaining fair compensation.