Tractor-trailer wrecks: let’s prevent a tragedy.

Anytime a person hops on an Interstate, the threat is there, the danger is present. News outlets are seemingly always reporting about tractor-trailer wrecks. Tractor-trailer wrecks that produce heart-breaking tragedies. Many innocent lives have been lost in tractor-trailer accidents occurring on our nation’s highways and on the interstate highways right here in Greenville SC.  Many lives have been changed as a result of profound, permanent personal injuries sustained in tractor-trailer accidents. With this blog post, I want to provide some thoughts on tractor-trailer wrecks. Maybe you will gain some insight on tractor-trailer wrecks. Maybe you will change your thinking on tractor-trailer wrecks. I am a practicing attorney in Greenville SC and I represent families whose lives have been tragically changed forever because of tractor-trailer wrecks.

Tractor-trailers occupy our highways and interstates and co-exist with other smaller motor vehicles on the roads. So there’s a constant relationship between average, everyday drivers of cars and motorcycles and big rig tractor-trailers.  Let’s look at news reports from just the past 60 days in Greenville SC and the Upstate of SC. An International tanker truck was involved in accident that killed one person in Laurens, SC. In another case, a tractor-trailer went off the side of a road and struck a culvert rolling over. This tractor-trailer wreck happened on Highway 25 near Gap Creek Road close to Travelers Rest, SC.  According to news reports, the tractor-trailer driver was charged with “Driving too fast for conditions”.  I-85 in the Upstate of South Carolina is a location of numerous tractor trailer accidents.

So on the highway its you versus the tractor-trailer drivers. But let’s start with this this simple fact: tractor-trailer drivers are trained, professional drivers. They drive for a living. They are trained to drive. Unlike you and me, tractor trailer drivers are paid to drive big trucks. And a lot of times, they have been to school to learn how to driver a tractor trailer and they have spent many months being trained on how to safely operate a tractor-trailer.

So in addition to having trained drivers at the wheel, there are other factors that make tractor-trailers different than an ordinary autombile. Tractor-trailer trucks are bigger and can’t stop as quickly, especially in heavy traffic. Truck drivers know this. They have been taught this. They have been taught proper stopping distances. They have been taught proper stopping techniques.

Tractor-trailer drivers also know about, and are trained to know, what is going on around them. That is, they are required to keep a proper amount of space between their tractor-trailer and other cars and motorcycles.  They are required, for safety purposes, to know what’s around them before they decide to make a turn or switch lanes.

Furthermore, tractor-trailers are equipped with equipment that helps determine what happened in the wreck.  Sometimes, all it takes to determine what happened is for the truck driver to take pictures with a camera that has been provided to him and that he should be keeping in the cab of his tractor-trailer.

One organization that is dedicated to lowering the number of deaths and personal injury caused by truck-related crashes is the Truck Safety Coalition.  There is a number of interesting topics on truck safety and prevention of tractor trailer crashes on their website. Also, it provides you with a way to get involved in reducing the number of trucking accident and the deaths caused by trucking accidents.

So when there’s a tractor-trailer wreck, what could have been done to prevent it? Who is in the better position to have prevented the accident? Who knows a lot more about driving? What vehicle presents a higher degree of danger? Ask yourself these questions. I’m sure you’ll find the correct answer.