Young & McCarthy LLP

Motorists can improve safety by understanding trucks

When Ohio drivers hit the road, they share the pavement with all manner of other vehicles. They also potentially put themselves in harm's way through no fault of their own. Every other vehicle is driven by someone with a particular set of experiences and mental distractions that could create danger for other occupants of the roadway. This is especially true when contemplating sharing space with an 80,000-pound transport truck. Because of the sheer size of semi-trucks, they present dangers that are not inherent to passenger vehicles. For the same reasons, they require special training and licensing to drive.

Before cutting in front of a 40-ton tractor trailer, drivers should be aware of the truck's safe stopping distance. A fully loaded truck at highway speed operating on dry pavement can require the lengths of two football fields to stop. With wet roads or worn tires, the distance can be much further. Although truckers are trained to keep a safe stopping distance between themselves and other motorists, it is often impossible because smaller vehicles dart in front of them, eliminating the cushion of safety.

Most drivers are familiar with the driving fatigue that can set in after a few hours driving. The driver of a passenger vehicle has no way of knowing whether the nearby big rig is being operated by an alert and experienced driver or a relative newcomer to world of professional driving. The same applies to the condition of its safety equipment. For this reason, it is wise to give trucks space when sharing the roadway.

Anytime a crash involves a commercial vehicle, there is a risk of serious damages and personal injuries. An experienced truck accident lawyer may help victims understand what steps to take for preserving evidence to prove liability after a wreck. This might help ensure that victims get full and fair compensation from negligent trucking companies.

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