A young transient from Tennessee who stole a semi-truck was just trying to shake off the zombies he imagined were crawling all over the truck. The 19-year-old man, apparently under the influence of hallucinogens, thought zombies were chasing him and he was taking evasive action.
At the wheel of a fully-loaded 18-wheeler on a heavily trafficked highway, he was driving a weapon of mass destruction. He caused a number of car collisions – sending numerous people to the hospital – before the truck overturned. Still trying to keep the zombies at bay, he escaped from the truck and tried to hijack a van before police caught up with him.
Although not all drivers are distracted by zombies, there are plenty of other issues that can carry serious consequences for all motorists sharing the roads with distracted or inattentive drivers. Truck drivers carry even higher responsibilities to other motorists due to the sheer size of the vehicles they are driving.
Sharing roads with truckers
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, in Knox County there are nearly 75 fatalities and 3,000 to 4,000 personal injuries caused by traffic accidents each year. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about one in every eight fatal car crash involves a large truck.
The trucking industry is highly regulated by federal law and truckers are subject to numerous rules and restrictions such as:
- Obtaining and maintaining specialized driving licenses
- Limited in the number of hours they can drive each day
- Forbidden from using alcohol or other drugs eight hours prior to driving
Truck drivers take precautions to make the roads safer for themselves as well as other drivers. However, truck accidents do occur on a regular basis. Every driver should keep the following tips in mind when sharing roads with trucks:
- Use caution as you approach large trucks.
- Pay attention to the effect heavy winds have on trucks as they may swerve into your path when gusts hit.
- Do not follow too closely and avoid blind spots – if you cannot see the driver in the truck mirror, he or she cannot see you.
- Do not cut off or pull in too closely in front of a truck as it requires much greater stopping time.
- Be careful when passing a truck on the right as it may be preparing to make a wide right-hand turn, turning right into your path.
Contact a lawyer
If you or a loved one is injured in a motor vehicle accident, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to help you obtain reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.