Entrepreneurs and commercial businesses flock to Atlanta’s metropolitan area every year, at increasing rates.
This proves to be beneficial for the state of Georgia’s economy, and even for some consumers. The unexpected upsurge in consumer demand explains the seemingly omnipresence of large trucks and tractor-trailers on Atlanta’s interstate highways—and the number of related fatalities. According to the Institute for Highway Safety, large trucks and tractor-trailers were responsible for approximately 3,700 deaths in 2014.
Fortunately, family members and friends of trucking-accident victims are able to seek justice from the commercial transportation companies for the lives of their loved ones. Case in point, in April 2015, after five Georgia Southern University (GSU) girls were plowed and killed by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 16 in Bryan County, the family of the victims fired off a round of wrongful death lawsuits against the driver and U.S. Xpress Entities, and its subsidiaries. According to the lawsuits, the semi-truck came “barreling down I-16 at full speed…without braking or maneuvering … and plowed straight into the rear of and then over the Toyota Corolla at highway speed, obliterating the Toyota (occupied by the GSU students) and setting it ablaze.”
Unfortunately, tragedies such as the case of the GSU students are occurring at increasing rates. The Highway Traffic Association and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports semi-truck and tractor-trailer fatalities steadily increasing on an average of 10 percent each year since 2009.
Take Precautions on the Road
Aside from massive size and weight of semi-trucks, the braking capabilities of some contribute to the increasing volume of highway crashes. Not to mention, Georgia’s rainy and humid climate and mountainous terrain are conducive for slippery roads and uneven turns. Keep a safe distance on the road. All vehicles are not created equal. You should pay extra attention to semi-trucks and tractor-trailers when driving. Big trucks such as these typically have very large blind spots, and limited rear visibility. Therefore, it is important to stay as completely visible as possible to the truck driver, and to pass quickly with caution. If you cannot see the driver’s mirror’s chances are the driver cannot see you.
Exercise Your Rights
Commercial truck drivers have a responsibility to drive with the utmost care of others in mind—at all times. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) places many regulations on drivers and their trucks such as restricting the number hours drivers can work in a one-week period, and frequent vehicle inspections. However, many drivers—due to increased demand—often violate DOT regulations.
Driving cautiously is the best way to keep you and your family safe. If you do find yourself or a loved one involved in an accident, consult a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer immediately. At the law firm of Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A.we are committed to restoring justice to you and your family. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.