Have you been a victim of an accident involving a semi-truck or tractor-trailer? Or are you interested in learning how to be proactive and help prevent tractor-trailer accidents—as the operator of a passenger or commercial vehicle?
Our Lancaster truck accident attorneys are sharing recommendations from our law firm and the Pennsylvania State Police to help you stay safe and avoid personal injury and wrongful death.
Every Driver Can Help Prevent Truck Crashes
The average passenger vehicle on today’s highways weighs two tons. The average commercial vehicle weighs 40 tons. If the two collide, the car, SUV, van, or pickup is no match for that 18-wheeler.
There are things you can do as a motorist in Lancaster County and beyond to avoid causing an accident with a tractor-trailer or becoming an accident victim.
In all instances, it’s important to remember that a semi-truck takes much longer to stop than your two-ton car or SUV. You could find yourself in an accident with that big truck if you fail to:
- Leave more space when following a tractor-trailer than you normally would when following a car. If the semi-truck in front of you is coming up on an accident, a red light, or if the truck driver has a reason to stop suddenly, you may not have the visibility necessary to stop as quickly as you need to.
- Avoid cutting off big trucks in traffic. Remember, tractor-trailer trucks are not as maneuverable as smaller vehicles and could easily lose control trying to stop or avoid a collision with you.
- If you can’t see a truck’s side-view mirrors, that truck driver can’t see you. Spend as little time as possible in this blind spot to help avoid a crash involving that truck.
- Move to the left (passing) lane of a highway if you see a truck (or any vehicle) pulled over onto the shoulder. If you’re driving on a two-lane road and a truck is pulled onto the shoulder, reduce your speed, turn on your hazard lights, stay alert, and proceed with caution.
- Give turning trucks plenty of space. They must swing wider than passenger vehicles to clear obstacles at intersections.
- Obey yield signs when entering highways. Trucks are not required to slow down or move into the left lane so you can merge with traffic.
- Pass tractor-trailers on the highway efficiently. Lingering in the left lane next to a semi-truck increases your chances of being affected by rollovers or tire blowouts.
- Always do your best to ensure truck drivers can see you and your intentions are clear. Signal before turning and avoid coming to quick stops unnecessarily.
- If you see a truck swerving or otherwise driving erratically, put as much space as possible between your vehicle and that truck.
- Mindful, defensive driving requires your full attention. That means not being distracted by your phone or anything else going on inside or outside your vehicle. Keep your eyes on the road and on trucks.
At May Herr & Grosh, we hope you never need the services of a Lancaster truck accident attorney. However, should you find yourself involved in a tractor-trailer accident, contact us immediately, BEFORE agreeing to anything.
How Truck Drivers Can Help Prevent Tractor-Trailer Accidents
If you operate a commercial vehicle, you know how much responsibility your job requires. Trucking companies and truck drivers in PA must follow regulations regarding CDL licenses, gross weight, permitting, miles logged, vehicle inspection tests, on-road safety, and more.
In addition to following all commercial-vehicle regulations put forth by PennDOT, it’s important to always stay alert when operating a tractor-trailer. That includes avoiding distractions, getting plenty of sleep, and never being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when operating a commercial vehicle.
Let us help you!
Do you have questions about a truck accident case? Are you being sued by an accident victim and need legal representation? Or are you questioning your liability in a car accident? No matter your specific questions, schedule a consultation with a Lancaster truck accident attorney today.
If You’ve Been Involved in a Tractor-Trailer Accident
No matter the circumstances surrounding an accident with a tractor-trailer, always call the police. Get to a safe place following the accident, but do not leave the scene until a police report is written. Following everyone’s physical safety, that police report should be your priority.
Gather as many witnesses as possible and ask the police to take statements from those witnesses as well.
Few things are more frightening than getting into an accident with a tractor-trailer. If an incident does occur, it’s important to know your rights BEFORE signing anything—whether you’re the driver of a passenger vehicle or a commercial vehicle.
How can you know what your rights are? Schedule a consultation with a Lancaster truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact May Herr & Grosh today.