In the U.S., there are about 500,000 accidents involving 18-wheelers every year. When a truck that big causes an accident, it can be devastating to any motorists involved. About 98 percent of crashes involving 18-wheelers running cars off the road end with the death of the driver or passenger.
One of the reasons that 18-wheeler accidents are so prevalent is because there are so many of them on the road. Many safety regulations have gotten passed over the years to make sure that drivers stay safe on the road. Still, accidents can happen.
Being run off the road is a terrifying situation for everyone, even the most experienced drivers. It’s important to know what you should do if you get caught in that situation.
Preventing an 18-Wheeler Accident
There are things that you can do to avoid an accident. The critical thing that you will need to do is practice defensive driving.
A few other key points to remember while driving:
- Avoid making lane changes
- Don’t make sudden movements around trucks; they can’t see you
- Avoid making sudden stops, as a truck will not have time to stop behind you
- Hold off on driving on the right side of a truck that is making a right turn
- Do not pull into traffic in front of an 18-wheeler
Abide by common sense rules when you’re unsure about your driving. Drive slowly when the weather is terrible, avoid using your phone while driving, and keep your eyes peeled for signs of danger.
Assess the Situation
Even the most vigilant drivers can end up in an accident. If you have been run off the road by an 18-wheeler, it’s important to stay calm.
First, assess the situation. Call the police and an ambulance. Even if no one looks seriously injured, it’s important to receive care from a medical professional. Safety should always come first, and with any car accident, a severe injury could take days to develop. Plus, you’ll need the medical documentation to file an insurance claim.
If you have a phone, take pictures of the scene. You’ll want to get proof of any damages to your vehicle. Once the police arrive, they’ll provide a police report and further testimony for the insurance company.
Determine how much damage was done to your car right away. If you plan to file an insurance claim, you should do that as soon as possible. There are statutes of limitations in most states that require you to file quickly if you want to receive compensation.
Report the Trucker
You can report the trucker. You will need the US DOT number, date and time, roadway information and US DOT number. Reporting the trucker will help your claim or lawsuit in the future. It will also help to stop any unqualified or negligent drivers.
Most of all, remember that you have rights if you’ve been involved in an accident. You can always contact a local attorney that specializes in car accidents and have them negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. The Louisiana car accident attorneys at E. Orum Young Law Offices can provide your case with personalized attention and protect your best interests throughout every step of the process. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our Trial Guarantee ensures that we’ll take your case to trial if you are ever dissatisfied with case results.