My Grandpa John (pretty cool name, I know) was a trucker, semi truck driver, tractor-trailer driver. I have his plaque of driving excellence from North American Van Lines on my home office wall. That is a driving force of why I have immersed myself in representing people and families who have been devastated by catastrophic personal injuries and death when semi trucks and tractor trailers cause personal injury, wrongful death on our Arizona highways and roads. I take on the honor of representing good people as their Arizona personal injury attorney when tractor trailer drivers do not comply with safety rules designed by the state and federal government to keep the drivers, themselves, and all other drivers on the road safe. Last year, there were 1,876 accidents involving a tractor trailer or semi truck here in Arizona. We can and must do better.
When I saw the catastrophic tractor trailer personal injuries and death that happened on Friday, July 17, my heart sunk. In Greensboro, North Carolina, a tractor trailer driver likely fell asleep and crashed into 6 motorcycles who were on the shoulder of a highway. 1 motorcyclist suffered a wrongful death, and 5 motorcycle drivers were taken to the hospital with personal injuries. Troopers say that the only reason the tractor trailer driver stopped a half mile up the interstate is that he had a flat tire. Devastating. The tractor trailer driver has been charged with felony hit and run and misdemeanor death.
It is an honor and privilege to operate a tractor trailer. There is a maze of State and Federal regulations that commercial drivers and companies must navigate in order to properly get licensed and comply with the law. The problem is, a lot of times, they don't. When that happens, wrongful death and personal injuries can result.
What can we do about it? Here are 3 quick tips on how to avoid tractor trailer accidents in Arizona.
FOR TRUCKERS & TRACTOR TRAILER DRIVERS:
- Watch your Blind Spots: The most common places where tractor trailer crashes occur are: (a) Off to the side just in front of the cab; (b) Just behind the side mirrors; (c) Directly behind the truck. Maintain caution before turning or changing lanes.
- Take Care Of Yourself: Get enough sleep, stay healthy, eat right, exercise. These are very often tough things for truckers to do. Check out this esurance link for some tips on how to live a healthy trucker lifestyle: https://www.esurance.com/info/commercial-auto/being-a-healthy-trucker
- Properly Maintain Your Truck: Per regulations, you have duties to do so. Make sure tire pressure is appropriate, monitor fluid levels, adjust mirrors, and especially check your brakes.
- Avoid Blind Spots: If you are going to pass a tractor trailer, pass it, do not linger in its blind spots. Be diligent and stay visible to the tractor trailer driver to avoid an Arizona tractor trailer accident.
- Do Not Tailgate or Stop Abruptly in Front of a Tractor Trailer: These trucks are heavy. It takes them much longer to stop. Be mindful of that when driving around them.
- In an Emergency, Pull Completely Off The Road: "If your vehicle becomes impaired, pull off the road as far as possible. Place hazard lights or flares at both ends to warn approaching traffic, then move as far away from your vehicle as you can." See more at: https://learningcenter.statefarm.com/auto/safety/tips-for-avoiding-tractor-trailer-accidents/#sthash.d1LorILZ.dpuf
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As always, please be careful out there. Arizona tractor trailer crashes, motorcycle accidents, and car accidents increase during these summer months. Be smart. Be diligent. Pay attention. Don't rush. Be mindful. Be present. If you ever need us as your Arizona personal injury attorneys, give us a call. 602-759-0012.