A Chevy Trailblazer turned into the path of a Clarksville Transit System bus last Wednesday afternoon, causing four people to suffer injuries.
Per a report by WKRN.com, the accident occurred when the Trailblazer was traveling south in the left lane of Wilma Rudolph Blvd near the bus, which was in the right lane. The juvenile driver of the SUV attempted to turn right onto Old Trenton Road, but cut off the bus in the process, causing the driver to swerve to avoid a collision.
The bus briefly exited the road and entered an embankment, but the driver regained control and brought it back onto the road. However, the bus then struck a large rock in the road. The driver of the Trailblazer also lost control, causing the SUV to leave the road and crash into the embankment.
Among the injured were the driver and two female passengers on the bus, as well as the driver of the Trailblazers. All the injured occupants were transported to a local hospital to receive treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.
Tips for Driving Safely near Buses and Other Large Vehicles
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that large trucks and buses have a few key differences from ordinary passenger vehicles that can make them more dangerous on the road. Those differences include things like large blind spots, long stopping distance, and limited maneuverability. In addition, large buses and trucks can weigh tens of thousands of pounds more than even the largest SUVs and pickup trucks.
The FMCSA recommends following these tips to stay safe around big commercial and industrial vehicles:
- Avoid no-zones
Both trucks and buses have big blind spots that can make it difficult or impossible for their drivers to see vehicles that are nearby. These spots include the area 20 feet in front of their cabins, one lane directly underneath and just behind their driver-side windows, two lanes underneath and adjacent to their passenger side windows, and 30 feet directly behind their rear bumpers or trailers. If you can’t see the driver in his or her mirror, that means he or she can’t see you.
- Be cautious when passing
Trucks and buses may drive slowly at times. When that happens, you may want to pass, but it’s important to do so safely and cautiously. Always check to make sure that you can see the driver in his or her mirror before you begin to overtake the vehicle. Activate your left turn signal and smoothly accelerate to pass the truck or bus. Make sure there’s plenty of space between your vehicle and the truck or bus before merging. Never pass from the right side or on a downgrade where big vehicles tend to pick up speed.
- Anticipate wide turns
Unlike the drivers of passenger vehicles, the drivers of trucks hauling trailers and some extra-long buses must take extremely wide turns, often steering into other lanes of traffic before correcting. Drivers of passenger vehicles can put themselves and others at risk when they turn at the same time as trucks and buses and encroach on the area where they will end up after completing their turns.
Other important tips provided by the FMCSA include things like never cutting off trucks and buses, being patient when you can’t pass or when they’re slowing traffic, avoiding distractions, and never driving while fatigued or under the influence.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Clarksville bus accident lawyers know that drivers must give big commercial and industrial vehicles special consideration when they drive near them on streets, highways, and interstates. Because these vehicles are much larger and heavier than cars, trucks, and SUVs, they behave differently and more difficult to maneuver. That means their drivers may be unable to avoid potential accidents that drivers of other vehicles can.
If you or someone you know was hurt in an accident involving a car, bus, or truck, we want to speak with you. You may be eligible to pursue a claim for compensation, especially if the other driver’s negligence contributed to the accident. Get in touch with us today by dialing (931) 274-7788 or complete a free online form.