1 Killed, 1 Injured in Separate Tractor-Trailer Accidents on Highway 111
A man from Cookeville, Tennessee, died in an accident involving a tractor-trailer on Highway 111 in Overton County last week.
According to a report by the Herald-Citizen and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the accident occurred around 5:30 a.m. when the 31-year-old man, who was driving a 2008 Chrysler in the southbound lanes, collided with a 2006 Peterbilt tractor-trailer truck driven by a 63-year-old man.
The impact of the collision caused the driver of the Chrysler to suffer fatal injuries, while the truck driver was uninjured in the accident. Emergency responders closed the southbound lanes of Highway 111 for several hours as they worked to clear the scene.
Another collision between a passenger vehicle and a tractor-trailer happened just a couple days later and sent one man to the hospital with serious injuries and caused significant damage to his vehicle.
The accident occurred just after sunrise on the on-ramp to Interstate 40 from Highway 111. Putnam County emergency responders and police say that this accident is the second to involve a tractor trailer and a passenger vehicle on that stretch of highway in the past two days.
How Can You Reduce Your Risks when Driving Near a Big Truck?
If you drive on Tennessee’s roadways, you’ll drive near big trucks. Tractor-trailers are everywhere, especially on interstates, and while the vast majority of big trucks don’t pose a threat to other drivers, all it takes is one brief moment of distraction or negligence to cause a serious accident.
By following these tips, you can help reduce your risks when driving near big trucks on the highway or interstate:
- Avoid passing trucks when traffic is congested.
Driving in bumper to bumper traffic is frustrating—especially when you’re struck behind a tractor-trailer that’s blocking your view. But when there’s limited space between vehicles, you should avoid trying to pass a truck. Doing so can make it extremely difficult for the truck to slow down if traffic suddenly stops in front of you, putting you and your passengers at serious risk of getting hit from behind.
- Stay out of trucks’ blind spots.
Big trucks have four major blind spot areas—directly in front of them, directly behind them, and the back left and right of their trailers. When driving near a big truck, always stay in an area where the driver remains visible in his or her mirrors. That’s a sign that the driver is aware of your location and that your vehicle is easily visible.
- Never turn right directly behind a big truck.
Accidents involving right-turning vehicles that get side-swiped by big trucks are so common that many trailers have diagrams showing the dangers of these types of accidents. If you’re waiting to turn behind a big truck, always wait for the truck to fully complete its turn and get oriented in the correct lane. Because of the size of their vehicles and trailers, truck drivers often have to make wide turns—and when they correct the orientation of their trailers, they can collide with vehicles that turned right at the same time.
- Report truck drivers who appear to be driving recklessly, negligently, or while distracted.
Because of the weight and size of their vehicles, truck drivers are held to a higher standard than drivers of standard passenger vehicles. If you see a truck driver whose behavior puts himself and others at danger, call 911 and report it, including your current location and a description of the truck and driver.
Tractor-trailers are essential for Tennessee’s economy, and the vast majority of truck drivers and companies follow the rules and practice safe driving and maintenance habits to keep themselves and others safe. But when a truck driver or company is negligent, innocent victims are often injured as a consequence.
If you or someone you love was injured in a big truck accident caused by negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Get in touch with the Cookeville truck accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law to find out how we can help. Dial (931) 754-1188 or fill out a free online consultation form—we’re ready to fight for your rights.