How to Tell When a Trucker Is Losing Control of Their Vehicle

Published on Feb 20, 2020 at 2:04 pm in Truck Accidents.

Driver's point of view, showing two truck ahead

When you’re in a car and driving next to a tractor-trailer, it can already be scary enough. But when the truck is about to lose control, the situation becomes even scarier by the second. If you don’t know the warning signs of a truck driver losing control of their rig, then the danger can escalate and become deadly.

If you’ve been in a truck accident in Jackson, you could benefit from having an experienced truck accident lawyer stand up for you against the negligent or reckless driver or trucking company at fault. Truck accidents can cause serious injuries and can easily turn deadly, so representation from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC ensures that you’ll get compensation for those injuries and damages.

Warning Signs of a Trucker Losing Control

Knowing the warning signs of an out of control semi can save you from getting into a collision with the truck. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that 82 percent of fatalities in truck accidents are of other drivers, not the truck driver. You need to be more aware of what to look for since you are at a greater risk of injury or death in the event of a wreck.

Here are some ways to tell when a trucker is losing control of their vehicle so that you can potentially protect yourself and stay out of their way:

  • Hitting the rumble strips. A clear sign that a truck driver is losing control of their vehicle is if they veer out of their lane and hit the rumble strips on the side of the road. The shaking could alert the driver to get back into their lane, but if they aren’t in control of the rig, they could just veer further onto the side of the road or overcorrect and come into your lane.
  • Wobbly tires. When tires start wobbling on a semi-truck, it could mean that the tires are worn down and could potentially blow out. If the tire does explode or come off the axle, the driver could easily lose control because their steering would be affected.
  • Braking but not slowing. Trucks traveling too quickly on a straightaway or down a hill might have trouble braking because their trailer is heavy and making them travel faster. If their brake lights are on and you can hear their brakes screeching but the rig isn’t slowing down, the trucker might be losing control.
  • Swerving, fishtailing, or drifting. Just like if you see a regular-sized car swerving, fishtailing, or drifting, if you see a large truck doing the same, then the driver most likely has lost control of their vehicle.
  • Heading toward runaway truck areas. Problems braking and swerving can lead to a runaway truck on the highway. Thankfully, many highways have areas for out-of-control trucks to pull off and slow down to avoid an accident in areas where they are more prone to happen. If you see a semi losing control and heading toward the off chute, steer clear of them and give them plenty of room.
  • Tilting trailer or cab. When going around a curve, a truck driver could lose control, and the trailer might start to tip over. If the trailer isn’t loaded properly, the tipping could become even worse, and even tip completely over onto its side and cause a lot of damage to the truck and any cars around it.

How to Avoid a Truck Accident

Even though there are warning signs that you can look out for, how you react to those warning signs is just as important. If you don’t react properly to an out-of-control truck, it could cause an even worse accident for you, the truck driver, and any other driver around you. Here are some things to do if you suspect a truck driver has lost control of their vehicle:

  • Keep a safe following distance so that you have room to brake if necessary.
  • Slow down, as speeding can cause a wreck because you come out of nowhere to the trucker.
  • Avoid the truck’s blind spots.
  • If you’re going to pass them, pass quickly so that you’re out of their way.

Unfortunately, you can only do so much to avoid getting into a wreck when a truck driver loses control. If you’ve been injured or your car has been damaged in a truck accident, you deserve compensation from the driver or trucking company responsible for the collision.

With the help of a truck accident lawyer from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, you can hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries. Reach out to our office today with your potential claim and we can discuss your best plan of legal action moving forward.

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