Q: What should I have done to avoid the trailer accident that occurred when a trailer detached from the truck in front of me?
You just got out of work and you’re about to get on the Beltway to head home, when a huge truck, with an enormous trailer hitched to the back pulls out in front of you. Although there’s nothing you can do about it until you get on the highway, you begin to get a little stressed. You absolutely hate driving behind trailers.
You manage to control your nerves on the on-ramp, but as soon as you maneuver yourself behind the truck, in order to pass him when the other lane is clear, the truck hits a bump. All of a sudden, the trailer begins swaying back and forth. You slow down a little, hoping the swaying will settle down, but as you watch, it appears that the swaying is only getting worse.
What should you do?
Safety Moves to Avoid Trailer Accidents
Trailer accidents can be extremely brutal if not deadly. In the past six years, the U.S. has suffered over 25,000 fatal towing-related accidents according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. However, thankfully there are safety precautions and emergency maneuvers that you can use to protect yourself from a fatal trailer accident.
- Keep your distance. When following a semi-trailer or a trailer hitched to a truck or SUV, keep a minimum of two-car lengths between your car and the trailer in front of you. Not only will this give you more room to maneuver in case the trailer comes loose, but it also gives the driver a clearer view of the traffic behind him.
- Pay attention. Stay alert for signs of possible danger, such as swaying, jerking, shaking, or abrupt braking.
- Move out of the way. Immediately increase your distance and move over if the trailer in front of you begins to sway, jerk, or shake.
- Give them room. Allow trucks a lot of extra room when turning. This lessens your chance of becoming caught in any blind spots.
- Steer, don’t brake. When a trailer comes loose, it still has built-up momentum and speed from the truck in which it was attached. This means that it isn’t going to stop on a dime—much the same way as you won’t stop immediately when you slam on your brakes. Therefore, to avoid colliding straight into a loose trailer, attempt to steer off the road, or if the lane next to you is clear, veer into the next lane. Not only will this help you avoid the collision but it will prevent injuries from sudden stopping and possible rollover issues as well.
Protecting Yourself After an Accident
Unfortunately, accidents still happen when you’re paying attention and driving as safely as possible. However, you can still protect yourself, your family and your rights even after an accident. If you’ve suffered as a result of a lost or detached trailer collision, call us today for a free consultation and review of your case. How knowledge, experience and diligence can help answer all of your questions and help you file your injury claim. Don’t let someone else’s mistake haunt you and your family for the rest of your lives; get the settlement and closure you need to move on. Call now!
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