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Motorcycles and Tractor-Trailer Collisions

Sometimes a confluence of events can provide for absolutely horrifying results. Such was the case last month when a motorcyclist was killed when his motorcycle collided with a tractor-trailer. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the wreck happened about a mile south of I-675 on Interstate 75. The wreck was caused when a southbound truck crossed over the median and collided with the motorcyclist. According to Henry County police Sgt. Joey Smith, the accident was caused due to an improper lane change on behalf of the driver of the tractor-trailer.

Devastating accidents such as these are absolutely heartbreaking. We are all more than familiar with the nervousness of hearing a loud truck roar down the highway. This is with good reason. Trucks can prove to be particularly fatal relatively to other vehicles on the road. There are ways to try to prevent accidents with tractor-trailers. In fact the folks at GEICO insurance recommend the following 5 tips for staying safe on the road:

  • Large trucks have blind spots called "No-Zones" around the front, back and sides of the truck. It is important to try and stay out of these "No-Zones" because the driver could possibly turn into your car if he can't see you. Remember, if you can't see the truck driver in the truck's mirror, the truck driver cannot see you.
  • When attempting to pass a truck, make sure you can see the front of the truck in your rear-view mirror before pulling in front. Avoid flashing your headlights as a signal that you want to change lanes. Flashing your headlights is not a universal signal of anything. Some truck drivers think it's a signal for them to change lanes, or a warning that a policeman is up ahead. All you do when you flash your lights at a truck or bus driver is confuse him or her.
  • Do not swerve in front of a truck or cause the driver to come to a sudden stop. It can take up to the length of a football field for a large truck to come to a complete stop. An 80,000-pound truck going 65 mph can take a full 300 feet to come to a stop after hitting the brakes.
  • Avoid "Squeeze Play." Truck drivers sometimes need to swing wide to the left in order to safely negotiate a right turn, especially in urban areas. Drivers cannot see directly behind or beside them, so cutting in between the truck and the curb increases the possibility of a crash, or a "squeeze." Pay attention to truck signals and give them plenty of room to maneuver.
  • Bus drivers with a full load of passengers may not slam on their brakes if a passenger car cuts them off. Given a choice between rolling over the car that just appeared in front of them or sending all of their passengers through the front windshield, the driver is likely to roll over the offending car.

Often times trucking accidents could have been prevented, and were instead caused by the negligence of another person. In the accident mentioned above, it sounds likely that the unfortunate death of the motorcyclist was in fact caused by the negligence of the truck driver. Often times when there is an accident and one party is given a ticket for improperly controlling their vehicle, there may be a reasonable negligence claim. If you have been involved in such an accident and have any questions regarding your rights, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

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