Sharing Wyoming roads with truck drivers and preventing an accident

With two major interstates running through Wyoming, you likely see many tractor-trailers traveling through the Cowboy State. Undoubtedly, you probably have a personal story to tell about a near-miss with a truck driver that was driving too fast or weaving in and out of lanes.

Recently, in June 2013, there was tragic Wyoming truck accident. The fatal accident occurred on I-25 in a construction zone when a semi owned by Cirque Du Soleil crashed into another commercial vehicle. In addition to the fatality, two individuals were transported to the hospital with injuries.

Unfortunately, big rig accidents such as this are all too common in Wyoming and across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were over 3,000 fatal accidents in 2011 involving large trucks, and 60,000 injuries from such accidents. Although the cause of the recent Wyoming accident has not been reported, common causes of truck accidents include distracted driving, driver fatigue and drivers being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Preventing an accident with a tractor-trailer

While it is important for truck drivers to operate their rigs in a safe manner there are some things that other motorists can do to prevent getting into an accident with a big rig. These include:

  • Give trucks four to six seconds of space at a minimum, especially in wet conditions: Semis require more time to stop then a car and they need that amount of space in order to drive safely.
  • Don't cut off a truck: Again, large vehicles need more time and distance to slow down and stop.
  • Stay out of the truck's blind spot: If you are unable to see a truck's side mirrors it is very likely that the truck driver is unable to see your vehicle.
  • When passing a semi you should be able to view the entire cab in your mirror prior to pulling back into the lane in front of the tractor-trailer.
  • Pay attention to a truck's turn signals and be aware of the fact that semis need to swing far out when making a turn.
  • Contact authorities if you witness a truck driver not driving safely.

Understanding the limits and challenges large trucks face can help drivers better share the road. Unfortunately, even the most vigilant motorists may be unable to avoid an accident with a large truck. If you or a loved one is injured because of a truck driver's negligence, consider meeting with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling these kinds of cases. A lawyer can discuss your available options and advocate on your behalf.