You've probably lived through it a time or two (or three or four). You're driving along a Rhode Island highway, making good time to reach your destination, enjoying a sunny day and looking forward to gathering with loved ones or meeting friends for a night on the town. Suddenly, from what seems like out of nowhere, a massive tractor-trailer comes barreling up behind you so fast it appears as though it might crash right through your rear window. Or, perhaps you've been unfortunate enough to be alongside one of these enormous, heavy vehicles, as it serves dangerously close to your driver's side door while is passes in the left line.
Motor vehicle collisions involving tractor-trailers happen all the time. Typically, the drivers and passengers in the vehicles a truck hits suffer catastrophic, if not fatal injuries. Many have survived with full or partial permanent disabilities, including severe brain damage, spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
Can you avoid such accidents?
You've likely seen clever car insurance commercials starring a name brand gecko on television. The company says it is indeed often possible to avoid collisions with big rigs if you remember the following:
- Trucks of this size often face difficulties when turning right. To successfully execute the maneuver, they often swing far to the left first. Sadly, many drivers become involved in collisions when they try to squeeze past the turning vehicle and the curb. It's typically best to avoid such "squeeze" tactics.
- It can take the area the size of three football fields for a tractor-trailer to come to a complete stop after hitting the brakes if traveling speeds at or above 60 miles per hour.
- Many drivers mistakenly thing they should flash their lights before moving over in front of a tractor-trailer. This often makes matters worse when truck drivers think the signal gives them permission to change lanes, thus resulting in collisions with drivers who flashed their lights.
- In order to remain visible to a truck driver on the road, you must stay where you can see the driver's face in his or her driver's side view mirror. If you can't see the truck driver in that mirror, he or she cannot see you.
Other tips like these are available online to help keep you as safe as possible when sharing highways with tractor-trailers in Rhode Island. If an accident does occur and you are injured, the first priority is obviously to obtain appropriate medical attention. Many types of injuries, however, are not immediately apparent and include symptoms that may not present themselves for several days, even weeks after an accident.
At any point following a collision with a big rig truck, you may choose to file a personal injury claim against any and all parties deemed negligent. Others have successfully done so, receiving full monetary recovery for their losses. Seeking experienced guidance first is typically the best way to go as it often increases your chances of a favorable outcome in court.