Out of all the vehicles that frequent our nation’s highways, semi-trucks pose the most danger to innocent motorists if they are operated negligently. Reckless behavior of the trucker can swing the trailer into adjacent lanes, slam the engine into cars in front, or even flip the entire 18-wheeler, causing a hazardous traffic jam. One of the only ways to prevent such devastating truck accidents is to react correctly to erratic driving behavior as soon as you see it.
Follow these steps if you see a dangerous semi-truck on the road:
- Give it space: Do not get to close to it, as the driver might be unaware of your presence on the highway, even if you are not in a blind spot. Either slow down and get a sizeable distance between the two of you, or pass it two or more lanes over. In most situations, staying behind it is the right choice but you will have to use your intuition to judge the situation.
- Call the authorities: Whenever you see a driver behaving recklessly, whether they are driving a commercial truck or a coupe, you should alert the police as soon as it is safe to do so – you may need to pull off the road. You never know when someone is drunk behind the wheel, and only highway patrol officers have the right and means to pull someone over.
- Truck identification: If it does not put you in harm’s way, you should also try to collect identifying information off the truck and its trailer. Try to remember the license plate number, the trailer number (usually six digits written in various points along the trailer), the make of the big rig, and the controlling company. All of this could be pertinent later if they cause an accident.
- Report to HQ: An optional step will be to report the problematic driver to their controlling company. There are often “How Am I Driving?” stickers on the back of semi-trucks with a phone number listed on it. Once again, if it is safe to do so, call the number and report what you are seeing. Remember: you should not allow yourself to become distracted by your cellphone while driving; if you do, you become a hazard to other motorists as well.
Reacting After a Truck Accident
Unfortunately, a truck driver who cannot control their tractor trailer is likely to cause some sort of truck accident. If you are caught in their path, you could be seriously injured or have your car totaled. In such an incident, you will need serious and reliable legal advocacy on your side. Contact our Shreveport truck accident attorneys from Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers today. Through an initial case evaluation, we may be able to determine how much compensation you need and how to get it. Call toll free at (888) 492-5532 to get started.