“Backing is always dangerous” as indicated in the Commercial Drivers License manual. A driver is required to “Get Out and Look” (GOAL) before perform- ing a backing maneuver. Spotters are often required to help a driver perform a backing maneuver. A driver is should signal he or she is backing by honking the horn and putting on the four-way flashers.
Semi-trucks can weigh up to 20,000 pounds and can take 2-3 times longer to stop than a passenger vehicle, making them very dangerous vehicles to be involved in an accident with.
If a driver is focusing on only one mirror, they aren’t doing their job correctly. This will create blind spots to the other side and rear of the semi-truck. The direct rear of a semi-truck is always hard to see for a driver, but watching both mirrors gives the driver a better view.
There are many reasons why backing a semi-truck is difficult:
Location: A driver backing in an area that typically has pedestrians or other cars might be easily distracted. Even in remote, industrial areas, a trucker may miss a pedestrian or another driver while going about their work day.
Hard to see: Semi-trucks do have backup alarms. Most people would recognize the distinctive “beep” of a reversing truck. This feature is great for pedestrians or other drivers, but some semi-truck drivers may rely on the alarm and fail to properly evaluate the area.
Low-light or harsh weather: Darkness makes pedestrians hard to see, especially if they’re wearing dark clothing. The same goes for other drivers in hard rain and strong winds.
What makes semi-truck accidents so dangerous in Kentucky? When fully loaded with cargo, a 50-plus foot long semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Semi-trucks carrying so much weight can quickly become more difficult to control if a driver isn’t aware and alert at all times. A semi-truck may be unable to stop if trucking companies fail to properly maintain the truck or if a trucker or third-party overloads the trailer, thus placing a strain on the truck itself.
Semi-truck accident injuries can be devastating, requiring long-term hospitalization and resulting in steep medical bills and an inability to return to work. When such a large vehicle crashes into a 5,000-pound passenger vehicle, it’s common for accident victims to sustain catastrophic head and spinal cord injuries, broken bones and fractures and other serious injuries. A loved one may even suffer a wrongful death as a result of accident-related injuries.
The following are some of the most common injuries sustained in truck accidents:
Determining fault in a truck accident can be complex. In a commercial vehicle accident, the driver might be liable, but other parties may share some of the responsibility. In some instances, a trucking company may have contributed to the accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regu- lates the commercial trucking industry. But that doesn’t mean trucking companies are willing to adhere to safety and maintenance standards.
Trucking companies are required to keep many different types of records. They must be able to prove that their fleet of vehicles is properly maintained and free of potentially hazardous safety issues, such as defective brakes or tires. Furthermore, trucking companies are required to hire skilled, trained drivers and ensure they follow important rules such as the FMCSA’s Hours of Service regulations that limit the amount of hours a trucker can spend on the road each week.
Stay clear of a big wheeler backing up on the road! The truck driver is risking the lives of other with this dangerous activity. Injury lawyer Flora Templeton Stuart has represented hundreds injured by big trucks. The law firm of Flora Templeton Stuart will travel to the scene and to clients injured by big trucks. Call our law firm at 888-782-9090 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
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