In light of the recent deaths from a big truck accident and a bus accident in North Florida, I would like to give some basic information on how driver’s of cars can protect themselves. Truth is, the majority of accidents that occur with big trucks or buses, Big Rigs, Semi’s, call them what you will, will lead to death or serious injury to the people driving the normal sized vehicle and the driver behind the wheel of a big truck or bus will usually walk away from an accident without a scratch.
The fact of the matter is that truck drivers need to have experience to know how to operate their equipment right in order to make the road safer for everyone. But how can we be sure that the drivers behind the big vehicles on the road have lots of experience when it can take as little as 3 weeks for someone to get their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was signed into law as a way to improve highway safety and as a way to make states test for certain driving skills of people operating commercial vehicles at the lowest federal standard. It was not until 1992 that drivers of a commercial vehicle would need to acquire their CDL, in which can be a program as short as 3 weeks to complete.
Even after 3 weeks of “in-depth” training how can we be sure the truck we are driving next to isn’t on their 11th hour straight behind the wheel? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration drivers of commercial vehicle drivers can drive up to 11 hours straight without a break. Eleven hours of straight staring at pavement could get anyone in a daze.
There is no sure way to protect our selves from big vehicle accidents, but being aware of the driver’s potential lack of experience and taking little precautions here and there could help prevent a fatal accident.
You should know that it takes almost three times the distance for a semi to come to a complete stop than a dual axel vehicle, and with their size, they also have a blind spot that can be up to 10 times longer than one on a regular sized vehicle. It is best to follow in a safe distance behind the truck, 5-seconds behind is recommended. It is never safe to drive along side a big vehicle for extended periods of time. When you are along side a big vehicle try to pass it, and it is best to pass a big vehicle along the left side. The driver of a big rig has a little less of a blind spot on his or her side. After passing, make sure that you are able to see both of the truck or busses headlights in your rearview mirror. This will ensure that the truck or bus sees you, and that way, if you by accidently slow down, they will have time to slow down as well. DO NOT pass the truck if you have to speed up a great amount just to pass it.
Our hearts go out to the families of the victims in these accidents.
We at Meldon Law strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of an accident or in the recovery from one.
We are experienced personal injury attorneys, trial lawyers, negotiators, litigators, paralegals, and staff that have been proudly working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, and the rest of North Central Florida and North Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, and motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
Based on Jeffrey Meldon’s, founder of Meldon Law, over 40 years of helping accident victims get justice and a fair shake from the insurance companies, he has written the consumer guide book, Seven Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case. You can request your free, no obligation copy right now, or contact our office for your complimentary copy sent to you today.
Contact Meldon Law at (800) 373-8000 or (352) 373-8000 immediately if you have been involved in a serious auto, truck, or motorcycle accident. We are in your community, have the experience and resources required to work towards obtaining a fair settlement for you – we are here to help you.