Avoiding Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Georgia


May 31, 2011

The average tractor-trailer can weigh anywhere from 12,000-80,000 pounds. This is about 25 times more than the average passenger automobile.

It is easy to see why a collision between the two vehicles will usually result in far less severe injuries to the tractor-trailer driver than the occupants of the passenger car. A disproportionate number of tractor-trailer accidents result in catastrophic injuries that lead to permanent disabilities and fatalities. This makes it imperative that Georgia motorists do everything in their power to avoid an accident with a tractor-trailer. Tractor-trailer accidents account for an eighth of all traffic fatalities.

The experienced Atlanta tractor-trailer attorneys of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have been representing tractor-trailer accident victims throughout Georgia for over a quarter of a century. Our practice is devoted exclusively to representing those who suffer serious injury or wrongful death caused by the negligence of a third party. We limit our practice to personal injury cases because we are committed to providing the highest quality legal services, and we continually strive to foster a reputation as the top Atlanta tractor-trailer law firm in Georgia. If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious tractor-trailer accident in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia, our dedicated and compassionate legal team is available to assess your situation and advise you regarding your legal rights and options. We know the best possible outcome is to avoid Atlanta tractor-trailer accidents entirely so we have provided some suggestions designed to keep you out of harm’s way.

  • Stay out of the truck's blind spots

Many trucks have warnings on the trailer in brightly marked signs that say something like "if you can read this now, you are driving too close" or " if you can read this now, then I cannot see you.” Tractor-trailer drivers cannot see behind their trucks and they have limited visibility to the sides of the trailer. If you cannot see the driver or their mirrors, then there is a good chance the driver of the tractor-trailer cannot see your vehicle. If a tractor-trailer driver signals to change into your lane, you should back off or move over and let the driver into the lane. It is never advisable to speed up and attempt to pass in such a situation. The tractor-trailer operator may not see you.

  • Respect that tractor-trailers are different from cars

A massive tractor-trailer that is fully loaded can be 65 feet long and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which means that it cannot maneuver like a passenger vehicle. Tractor-trailers take more time to turn, to pull over, and to slow down after the brakes are applied. These limitations of tractor-trailers make it important to keep a safe distance from any tractor-trailer on the road. Whether you are in back or in front of these massive vehicles, it is imperative not to travel too close. When passing a tractor-trailer, you should be very careful to promptly pass so that you are not in the blind spot along the side of the vehicle for an extended period.

  • Pull all the way off the road if you must stop

In addition to the risk of being sideswiped by a tractor-trailer in Georgia if you are not pulled way off to the shoulder, you may also be hit and killed. If you have car trouble or are changing a tire, you want to get as far away from the closest lane of traffic as possible. A fatigued tractor-trailer or other driver can get confused and assume he or she is following traffic rather than approaching a stopped vehicle. The driver may not realize how close he or she is to you and pass by too close.

  • Drive carefully when in bad weather conditions

When it is raining, snowing, foggy or other factors reduce visibility, you should be extremely cautious when driving in the vicinity of a tractor-trailer. In these types of conditions, the tractor-trailer operation may have a more difficult time seeing potential road hazards and stopping when an emergency arises. You should give tractor-trailers more room to maneuver and be careful when entering and exiting the freeway.

  • Do not instigate "road rage" with a tractor-trailer operator

If a tractor-trailer driver is engaged in a rude or unsafe driving practice like tailgating, you should never retaliate by speeding up, pulling in front of the truck and applying the brakes. A fatigued tractor-trailer operator, as well as the operator of a car or any other motor vehicle, may respond with an act of road rage, which can result in a serious tractor-trailer accident.

Georgia motorists should exercise caution and respect around tractor-trailers because it is the best way to stay safe and avoid tractor-trailer accidents. If you or someone you love has been injured or been killed in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, you may have a right to compensation. Since 1984 Montlick and Associates has been fighting hard to protect the rights of people injured in truck and motor vehicle accidents and to get them all the compensation they deserve.

Montlick and Associates is available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Truck Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.