A very deadly semi-truck crash happened yesterday on i70 here in Colorado. Our hearts go out to the families of those who died in this horrible crash. After seeing video of this big rig speeding down the emergency lane in traffic and then plowing into a stalled vehicle creating a fiery 28 vehicle crash (24 passenger vehicles & 4 semi-trucks), we feel it's time to bring up this subject again.
The Colorado economy and its many citizens rely on large trucks to bring in goods, products, and various consumer products on a daily basis. However, while these trucks may be necessary and appreciated...they are also dangerous; in 2017, there were nearly 5,000 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes nationwide, according to data provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Because eliminating large trucks is an impossibility, the best thing that drivers can do to stay safe is to familiarize themselves with the best practices for responsible driving around big rigs. Some tips for safe driving around large trucks are listed below - if you are involved in a large truck accident in our state, our Colorado personal injury attorneys can help you in recovering compensation.
Put More Space Between Your Vehicle and a Large Truck
Large trucks not only have large blind spots, but also require more room to come to a complete stop and to make a turn than do smaller vehicles. As such, if you lane change in front of a large truck too closely, the truck driver may have a hard time slowing their vehicle in time to avoid hitting yours. Or, if a large truck needs to make a turn, they may swing wide - something that can be dangerous if your vehicle is in the way.
Stay Out of Blind Spots
The blind spots on large trucks are much greater than they are for smaller vehicles. In fact, the FMCSA characterizes these blind spots at “no zones”that drivers should avoid at all costs. These “no zones” include the area that encompasses 30 feet directly behind a large truck, 20 feet directly in front of a large truck, two lanes to the right of a large truck, and one lane to the left of a large truck.
Be Aware of “Squeeze Play”
As mentioned above, one reason that it’s important to provide large trucks with more room is that large trucks often need to make wide turns, swinging to the left before turning right, for example. When this happens and a passenger car is in the way, the driver of a large truck may not see the passenger car, and the driver of the passenger car--not realizing what the large truck is doing--may attempt to pass the truck on the right-hand side. This can result in an accident referred to as “squeeze play,” which occurs when a smaller vehicle is “squeezed” between a large truck and the curb or guardrail.
Stay Safe, and Call a Lawyer if You’re Involved in an Accident
Driving around large trucks can be dangerous, but for the most part, an accident can be avoided with safe driving habits. However, while you can control your own actions, you cannot control a truck driver’s behavior or other dangerous circumstances, like shifting cargo or defective truck parts.
If you are involved in a truck accident in Colorado, our injury attorneys at the office of Anderson Hemmat are here to advocate for you. We will help you to understand your recovery options and will work hard to maximize your compensation award. Please reach out to us today to schedule your free consultation.
Story on Denver Post - Photo: Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post
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