Legal Representation for Truck Accident Victims in South Mississippi
On Interstate 10 as well as South Mississippi’s local highways, driving alongside big rigs and other large trucks is unavoidable—a necessary hazard you might say. That’s because large trucks have unique characteristics which may contribute to motor vehicle accidents if truck drivers fail to operate their trucks safely. Understanding the differences between big rigs and regular passenger cars can help prevent truck accidents. Being aware of bad practices in the trucking industry can help us understand how and why so many truck accidents occur.
Truck Braking Time & Turning Radius
Long braking time and limited turning radius are two major causes of truck accidents in Mississippi and nationwide. It takes large trucks about 1.5 seconds more to brake than a passenger vehicle. Because of this lag, a big rig needs the length of one or two football fields to come to a complete stop once the truck driver steps on the brake.
Keep this in mind when passing a tractor trailer on the highway. Simply because you have cleared the front of the truck does not mean it is safe to return to the right-hand lane. You should wait until you are at least three or four car lengths ahead of the truck before you make your lane switch. Then, the truck will not be forced to slow down in order to maintain a safe distance behind you in the event you are both required to stop.
Tractor trailers also require a much larger area to negotiate a turn than passenger vehicles. For example, if an 18-wheeler is making a right turn, it must first move into the left lane in order to achieve the necessary clearance to make the turn. A passenger vehicle may try to pass on the right, not realizing the driver of the truck is also making a right. In the worst case scenario, the passenger vehicle then gets trapped beneath the trailer’s rear tires and crushed.
Bad Practices in the Trucking Industry
In addition to the unavoidable dangers of the road and the difficulty of operating a big rig, certain aspects of the commercial trucking industry may contribute to the frequency of truck accidents. For example, trucking companies often emphasize speed of delivery over safety, causing truck drivers to engage in risky driving behaviors to log miles and meet deadlines. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
Truck Driver Fatigue – Truck drivers are often required to work long hours, and driver fatigue is a leading cause of accidents.
Meeting Unrealistic Deadlines – Truck drivers must meet economic deadlines, often causing them to take unnecessary chances like speeding and driving recklessly.
Inadequate Hiring Practices – Trucking companies have a need for labor and sometimes cut corners when hiring.
Trucking companies are required to keep accurate records with details of every haul their drivers make. If you have been injured or a loved one was killed in a collision with an 18-wheeler, big rig, or tractor trailer, one of the first things we will do is secure the truck company’s records as well as police reports and toxicology exams.
Call Gardner Law Firm for Help after a Truck Accident
If you have sustained a personal injury in a truck accident, contact Gardner Law Firm for a free consultation or talk to us via chat. Our attorneys have more than 35 years of experience representing injury victims in Biloxi, Pascagoula, and all along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.