Our Missouri truck accident attorneys urge you to be ever-cautious of big rigs, whether you're in a passenger vehicle, on a motorcycle, or on foot. Even though you'd like to believe that you won't get in an accident with a semi (because you'd obviously see it coming), the fact remains that large trucks are responsible for about 1 in 10 fatal accidents nationwide.
This week in Chicago, a high school student was severely injured by a semi-truck. The 18 year-old pedestrian was wearing headphones and failed to notice the semi making a left turn. He crossed directly into the truck's path, and was pinned under the vehicle. Luckily, he survived, though he remains hospitalized. As this accident demonstrates, large trucks are often unable to react quickly enough when a pedestrian (or another vehicle) suddenly appears in front of them. Staying safe in traffic - as a driver or a pedestrian - requires that you keep track of what's happening around you.
Collisions between semi-trucks and pedestrians are not as uncommon as you might think. A pedestrian was recently killed by a postal truck in the Detroit metro area, while another pedestrian was critically injured on a highway near Lake Odessa, Michigan, after being struck by a semi. And last year, a pedestrian/tractor-trailer collision killed a Chesterfield, Missouri man when he walked into the path of a semi-truck on I-70.
In many cases, highway pedestrians are motorists who break down and wind up stranded. It is not uncommon for drivers with disabled vehicles to become victims of fatal traffic accidents, even though they're not even driving.
In the event of a highway break down, there are a number of safety precautions you can take to ensure that you and your passengers stay safe while you wait for help.
Being Safe When You're Stranded: A Few Safety Tips:
* Always keep a cell phone with you for emergency situations.
* If your car breaks down, make sure you pull off the roadway to the right (as far as possible).
* Activate your emergency flashers to warn other vehicles and law enforcement of the location of your disabled vehicle.
* Call law enforcement, a friend, a family member or roadside assistance for help.
* Be patient when you're waiting for assistance to arrive. Remember that it may take them a while to navigate through any traffic delay that your disabled vehicle may have caused.
* Keep emergency equipment in your vehicle, including a flashlight, emergency flares and basic tools that may help to fix minor problems with your car.
* If your car has broken down and cannot be moved, be sure to keep everyone inside the car with seat belts on. Turn on your car's hazard lights and stay there until help arrives.
* Set up roadside flares, cones and emergency warning signs if possible.
* Don't get into the car with someone you don't know. This goes for emergency responders as well. Always ask for identification first.
One of the most dangerous things you can do if your car breaks down on the roadway is to leave it parked in a lane of traffic: doing so cause a second or a third incident. These kinds of accidents are especially prevalent when cars break down on interstates and other fast-traveling roadways. Vehicles are oftentimes unable to stop by the time they discover the disabled vehicle, resulting in a domino effect of car accidents. Protect your property, and help keep other motorists safe: call a towing company, and make sure your hazard lights are on.
For more information about personal injury claims related to accidents involving commercial trucks, visit our website.
Student Hit by Semi Truck Near Curie Metro High School: FOX Chicago News and the Sun-Times Media Wire
Pedestrian struck and killed on Interstate 70: Brian Byrne, KSDK 5
Dimondale man critically injured in accident: Lansing State JournalAttorney meetings by appointment only