Every day thousands of Connecticut residents share the roads with truck drivers who are just passing through. In most cases these truck drivers are passing through and performing a vital service for our country’s economy and they are harmless. These vehicles that we share the road with are extremely large and often travel at high speeds and therefore if you’re not alert you may become entangled with one of these vehicles and find yourself in a New Haven commercial vehicle accident which could cause you to be injured or even worse.
Most truck drivers are in good standing with their trucking company and are following the rules and regulations that they are required by law to follow, but there are a handful of truck drivers who may not be driving in the safest manner. Like drivers of cars there are always a variety of reasons why a truck driver may be driving in an unsafe way, but nonetheless if they are driving that way you will want to avoid them at all cost. An accident with a truck can mean serious injuries and in some cases a lifetime of physical therapy and even a lingering injury.
Just like while you’re sharing the road with other drivers and should be aware of signs that they are presenting a risk to you and others around you, you should be aware of this with truck drivers as well. The good news is that there are signs that you can see while you’re driving that should send up a red flag to you that the driver who is behind the wheel of the truck is not operating the vehicle in a safe way and that you should avoid her/him if at all possible. Here are some signs you should be looking for when you’re sharing the road with trucks or other commercial vehicles.
1.) Swerving. It is not uncommon for a large truck to sway a little bit with the amount of wind that is generated as the truck cuts through the air and with the weight of the vehicle, so that is not an indication of an unsafe driver. However, if you see a vehicle lurching between the lane lines and driving in an erratic behavior from left to right this could be a sign that you should do your best to avoid the vehicle. You may want to slow down so you can stay far back from the vehicle or speed up a little bit so you can put the truck in your rear view mirror.
2.) Failure to signal. Just like when you are in your car, truck drivers are required to signal when they are changing lanes. This is especially important for these larger vehicles to make sure they are signaling when changing lanes. If a truck does not signal that it is changing lanes and you are traveling behind it but are ready to pass it at a moments notice, you may find yourself in a precarious situation that is caused by the lack of signaling from a truck driver. Even if you are not in a position to be affected by the lack of a signal, if you see a truck that is changing lanes without signaling you may wish to stay away from the vehicle so you can avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
3.) Tailgating. This behavior that a truck driver will sometimes participate in can become a HUGE problem. The space needed for a truck to stop is quite long and stopping short is really not an option for these types of vehicles. If a truck driver is tailgating you or someone around you this is an unsafe behavior and it should be noted by you and avoided if at all possible. Truck drivers are trained to keep a safe distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them, but they do not always do this. This puts you and everyone else on the road in harm’s way because if one of these large vehicles comes to an emergency stop it can cause headaches for everyone on the road.
Sharing the roads with commercial vehicles is unfortunately the name of the game around here as we are part of a network of roads that connects the entire Eastern United States. It is good for commerce, but can sometimes be not so great for safety. Like with any road safety you cannot completely erase the chances that you will get into a New Haven commercial vehicle accident, but you can take steps to make sure you are putting yourself in the safest way possible.
Injuries do happen and when they do you may need to speak with an attorney who can review your situation and work with you on protecting your long-term interests. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys will listen to you about your situation and talk with you about how you can move forward.