Truck accidents in northwest Georgia aren’t always the result of over-tired truckers. Often, the sheer weight and size of 18-wheeler tractor trailers make it difficult for even the most experienced truckers to keep their rigs in their lanes.
Dimensions mean less room in the lanes
The standard width of an 18-wheel cab and trailer is a little more than 102″ or eight and a half feet from side to side. The width of a standard interstate traffic lane is typically 12 feet. That means that a trucker has less than 21″ inches of leeway on either side of his wheels to remain in his lane. With “rumble grooves” now carved into the surfaces just inches onto the shoulders, the inclination is for truck drivers to lean toward the left, meaning their rigs often take up the entire right lane, with their wheels just inches from the white lane separator stripes. At 65 miles per hour, drifting just inches over the line can cause panic for a driver trying to pass on the left.
Many car-truck accidents occur when a car driver is in the trucker’s blind spot while passing. At highway speeds, it is often a high-anxiety moment. If the truck suddenly drifts left just a few inches, the car driver has no way of knowing whether the trucker’s intent is to change lanes without signaling, or simply finding it difficult to fight the wind or road conditions.
Truck accidents often occur when the car has no place to move further left to avoid the trailer swerving into its lane. The car driver is often left speeding up to zip past too quickly; slamming on the breaks hoping the back of the trailer will speed by; driving into the left shoulder; or getting side-swiped by the trailer or wheels.
Drive safely, give truckers their space
It is never a good idea to pass a truck on the right. If you must pass a truck, do so on the left and maintain safe highway speeds. Make sure you have your headlights and directional signal turned on in advance, to alert the trucker you are coming up from behind. Get past the truck as quickly as possible, without driving alongside the trailer any longer than necessary. Also, be aware of the gust of air resistance pushed off the front of the truck cab, which can suddely make your car hard to control.
If you were injured
If you were involved in an accident as a result of a truck driver’s negligence or inability to stay in their lane, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Even if the truck didn’t strike your car, forcing you off the road may be the result of the driver’s neglegence.
If your truck accident occurred in western or northwest Georgia, call Gammon, Anderson & McFall in Cedertown, Georgia, for a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your truck accident.