The most common way to avoid a tractor-trailer accident in Philadelphia or anywhere in Pennsylvania is to become very cautious when driving around these vehicles. Typically, tractor-trailer drivers are tired from working long shifts, making the risk of an accident very high. When a small vehicle is within a short distance of a tractor-trailer, it makes it very likely for a collision to occur which could be catastrophic. It is common for a tractor-trailer driver to walk away from the accident without any injuries, while the passengers of the smaller vehicle are left in critical condition.
The impact of a tractor-trailer accident could be very severe. A vehicle full to capacity could be as much as 20 times the mass of an average car carrying passengers. A tractor-trailer accident could leave passengers within a smaller vehicle with fatal conditions or critical injuries such as spinal cord injury, back and neck injury, fractures, and injuries that require medical operation.
Under certain circumstances, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by families who have lost a loved one because of a tractor-trailer driver's carelessness. An experienced tractor trailer accident attorney will perform a complete investigation of the trucking company. The driver could have violated federal regulations while trying to meet specific deadlines and while rushing to get to their destination. Regardless of the laws that restrict driving for excessive hours, many drivers continue to work overtime even when they are extremely exhausted, increasing the likelihood of a major tractor-trailer accident.
When tractor-trailers are on the road, they are at their least maneuverable; they start moving more slowly and take longer to come to a complete stop than smaller vehicles do. Tractor-trailers are also more affected by unfavorable road conditions. The average tractor-trailer could carry 12,000 pounds to 80,000 pounds, and the federal government allows tractor-trailers to carry an overload weighing over 80,000 pounds.
When you consider the size of the tractor trailer combined with the speed and weight, you can understand why it is highly likely that additional vehicles could become involved in the accident. When a tractor-trailer rear-ends another vehicle, it will not come to a complete stop or even (in some cases) slow down. Tractor-trailer accidents make up an eighth of the total traffic deaths.
Truckers who work long hours often get bored and turn to distractions while they are on the road. Some tractor-trailer drivers drive while speaking on their cell phone, reading novels or periodicals, or paying attention to other drivers. This helps to revive them from fatigue or boredom of being on the road for several hours; however, a distracted tractor-trailer driver is a very hazardous driver.
It can be difficult, but there are ways that drivers can avoid being involved in a severe accident. Drivers need to be more attentive to tractor-trailers than they would be to other vehicles. A tractor-trailer's size and weight determines the ability a driver has to hit the brakes and come to a complete stop (as well as their ability to change lanes). Drivers could crash into the back of your car if they can't stop immediately.
It is crucial that you maintain a safe distance between you and the tractor-trailer continuously while you are on the road, especially when you are switching lanes in front of the truck. Try not to stay driving alongside a tractor-trailer for a long period of time. Many tractor-trailer drivers transport flammable and dangerous cargo while on the road, which could turn a small accident into a fatal one. It is very important to always stay alert and to refrain from distractions such as talking on your cell phone and fumbling through your belongings while driving. These strategies could keep you safe while driving near a tractor-trailer.