Being involved in an interstate or road accident is bad enough. But if a semi truck doesn’t observe road safety when it drives up on a car wreck, a real tragedy can ensue. Already injured victims—and even police, EMTs, and good Samaritans tending to them—can suffer severe, even fatal, injuries.
As Waylon Jennings sang, “It’s not supposed to be that way.” South Carolina truckers know that because the Commercial Driver’s License manual is their training guide. Here’s what it tells them about not making a bad situation worse.
Driving Big Rigs Around Wrecks
The 2018 manual warns truckers to use extreme caution in the following situations:
- Approaching stopped emergency vehicles. This includes ambulances and fire trucks. The manual notes accidents involving EMTs and fire department personnel “are increasing at a frightening pace.” The manual instructs 18-wheeler drivers to drive cautiously by slowing down and changing lanes to get away from stopped emergency vehicles if traffic conditions allow it. If not, the semi-truck driver should slow down and drive cautiously, keeping speed safe for traffic conditions.
- Approaching prior accidents. The manual describes these as especially hazardous. It warns accident victims may not look out for traffic. Truckers also need to be aware of rubberneckers who stop to look at it. Other vehicles may suddenly slow or stop without warning. Worse, people can dart into the road without looking.
- Disabled vehicles. This includes the unfortunate souls who suffer a breakdown. The manual points out these drivers, who may be changing a tire or fixing an engine, often don’t pay attention to the danger presented by traffic. It tells truckers to be aware of jacked-up wheels or raised hoods, which often signal these situations.
Let's face it- witnessing a traffic accident or its aftermath can be distracting, but truck drivers are professionals held to a higher standard to rise above distracted driving. It goes without saying truckers should be especially sure to look for these hazards and work harder to protect us all at night.
Don’t Let Them Get Away With It
If you get hurt by a trucker who’s careless of your safety after a traffic accident, you can bet his insurance company will be no more helpful in paying your medical bills.
And if you’re a first responder hurt in the line of duty, you’ve got another self-interested insurance company to deal with—workers' comp. And yes, you can still seek a settlement against the trucker who caused the crash.
This time, don’t leave yourself exposed to fend for yourself. Hire a professional who is devoted to standing up for you. Fill out our Get Help Now form to get your questions answered. You can always call to get one-on-one time with an experienced trucking accident attorney.