Avoiding the Big Bad Wolf of Washington Highways
There are a wide variety of vehicles that travel along Washington State's highway system, but none is more intimidating or dangerous than the Big Bad Wolf of the road: tractor trailers.
The Big Bad Wolf is the villain of The Three Little Pigs, but also finds himself the villain in other childhood stories, like Little Red Riding Hood. While he is made out to be the villain in both these stories, he is not necessarily acting with evil intentions. He is dangerous by nature, just like tractor trailers are, which is why commercial truck drivers and companies must take extra care in their jobs.
Managing the Dangerous Nature of Big Rigs
Commercial trucks were not designed to cause devastating accidents, but their immense size and weight combined with negligent practices of trucking companies and drivers does just that. It is a truck driver's and trucking company's responsibility to ensure that all rules and regulations are being followed, that the vehicle is operated safely and appropriately and that the truck is in proper working condition.
If these responsibilities are not met, there is an increased risk of a big rig accident. If such negligence causes a crash, then the injured victims may be entitled to take legal action against the truck driver and/or trucking company. But this is not a task you should take on alone. Truck drivers and trucking companies rely on their insurance carriers to deal with accident claims and their job is to pay you as little as possible or nothing at all. At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our Seattle truck accident attorneys know how to handle insurance companies and can be the support you need to get onto the road to recovery.
When You See a Truck
It's common to see tractor trailers traveling along the I-5, so you may not think twice about it, but staying safe and avoiding a potentially dangerous truck means you have to be aware of your surroundings and take certain steps. A few good rules to drive by when on a road with big rigs are:
- Leave extra following distance when driving behind a big rig. If you can't see their mirrors, they can't see you;
- Pay attention to how a big rig is moving/being driven. If it seems like it's drifting around or if it is making unsafe lane changes, stay away. The driver may be drowsy, distracted, or even under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Do not pass a big rig in the lane immediately next to it, if possible. Any sudden movements can cause a serious accident.
- When changing your lane and entering in front of a big rig, change as far ahead of the big rig as possible, especially in heavier traffic. A large truck takes a lot longer to brake and may rear-end you if they don't have enough room.
Commercial trucks are the largest, heaviest, and most dangerous vehicles on the road, so it is important to do all you can to stay clear of them. In the event that you can't, however, and you are involved in a Washington truck crash caused by truck driver and/or company negligence, we will do all that we can do to help you determine your best legal options.