Some of the most catastrophic accidents on the nation’s roadways occur when semi tractor-trailers don’t stop in time for slowing traffic. Many of these crashes occur in construction zones. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 18%, or more than one in six, semi accidents are rear-end collisions.
This is what happened on June 25, 2015, when a big rig plowed into eight cars on Interstate 75, just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, resulting in 12 injured and six killed. Such horrific accidents are commonly caused by sleepy driving, impaired driving, distracted driving, driving too fast for conditions or parts failures. To minimize your chances of getting rear-ended by a semi, be proactive by doing these three things:
Slow gradually when possible – Under any conditions, if you see the brake lights going on ahead of you, immediately slow your vehicle, but gradually. Then, if you see a big rig rapidly approaching in the rear-view mirror, it is possible to accelerate, using the open road remaining ahead of you to avoid a rear-end collision.
Give yourself an out – It’s also wise to position your vehicle on the roadway so that there is, as much as possible, a wide shoulder or an open lane that you can use to avoid being rear-ended. By contrast, if you are hemmed in by vehicles and/or guard rails, there is nowhere to go if a big rig comes barreling up behind you.
Avoid a trucker’s blind spot – Avoid passing a tractor-trailer on the right. The trucker may decide to change lanes just when you are in that blind spot. In general, it’s wise to stay away from trucks on the highway as much as possible. Semis weighing 30,000 pounds are generally allowed to haul as much as 80,000 pounds more. Your car, pickup or SUV usually weighs between 2,500 and 6,000 pounds. Your vehicle is simply no match for a semi tractor-trailer, loaded or otherwise.
We want your driving experience to remain accident-free. However, if you or a family member becomes a victim in a crash, it is possible to consult with semi-truck accident lawyers about the case free of charge. To learn more, please contact us.