Increasing tractor-trailer awareness can save lives in South Carolina

In the last few weeks, drivers in Greenville County will have noticed an increase of tractor-trailers on the road around them. This is common, as each year retailers increase their stock in order to meet the demands of shoppers. However, with more semis on the road, the chances of a truck accident occurring are greater.

Truck accidents in South Carolina

A man in Spartanburg County was recently injured when a truck driver pulled out in front of his vehicle according to WSPA. The extent of the man's injuries was not released but he is expected to survive the crash. The trucker was found at fault for the accident and given a citation for not yielding to the vehicle.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation reports that in 2007, 73 people died in accidents involving semis. It is unknown how many injuries were caused by truckers or how many accidents were caused by tractor-trailers overall.

Avoiding a truck accident

There are many things that a truck driver can do to avoid getting into a collision such as eliminating distractive behavior, not driving while drowsy and maintaining a safe speed. Likewise, trucking companies can also contribute to the safety of others by implementing safer policies, making sure that trucks are well-maintained and having checks in place to verify that loads are secured correctly.

Many accidents are found to be the fault of a truck driver or company but drivers of passenger vehicles can also inadvertently put themselves at risk of being struck by a semi by engaging in certain behaviors. Therefore, it is important for drivers to remember the following:

  • Trucks make wide turns and often need to enter the middle or left lane.
  • Passenger vehicles weigh up to 5,000 pounds while a tractor-trailer with a loaded trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
  • Semis have large blind spots referred to as no-zones. These zones are located directly in front of the semi, behind the semi's trailer, to the right of the cab and on the left side of the cab, just behind the driver.
  • A tractor-trailer cannot stop quickly - with a full load and traveling at about 55 miles per hour, it takes the length of two football fields for the semi to come to a complete stop.
  • On hills, tractor-trailers may drift back as they switch gears.

Drivers can help the road around them stay safer by showing courtesy to truckers and backing off if a semi is too close to the center lane or appears to be drifting. When people are injured in a truck accident or have lost loved ones, they should discuss their legal options with an experienced attorney.