Tractor trailer accidents are all too common on Georgia roads. Last year, large trucks were involved in 8.6 percent of the state’s 2,070 fatal crashes.
Earlier this year the Georgia Department of Public Safety kicked off a new initiative to reduce the number a wrecks between big rigs and cars: Georgia Targeting Aggressive Cars and Trucks, or G-TACT.
The goal of G-TACT is to combine the resources of the Motor Carrier Compliance division, state troopers, and sheriff’s deputies to educate drivers about the dangers of driving alongside big tractor trailer trucks. Through a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the project has been instigated across the state on busy highways and interstates.
Georgia State Patrol Villa Ricca Post Commander Joey Boatright told the Times Georgian, “Stopping abruptly in a tractor-trailer takes about three times the distance than a car that is traveling at the same speed. If there is an emergency ahead and the driver of a car can stop in time, the tractor trailer might not be able to if there is not enough space between the two.
“Drivers should know that tractor-trailers have a blind spot directly behind the vehicle and just behind the driver’s side door and cab. It is the responsibility of the truck drivers to have mirrors set up, but passenger cars should be aware of these potential areas that might have limited visibility.
“Anytime it’s a tractor trailer versus a car in a collision, there is the potential to be a serious or deadly accident. Speeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can also be just as deadly. This program was started because of the number of accidents we have, not just in Carroll and Douglas counties but across the entire state.”
State Patrol Lt. Paul Cosper said that, as part of G-TACT, motor carrier compliance officers inspect heavy trucks for mechanical problems like blown headlights, brake problems, or worn tires. Officers can issue citations or order tractor trailers out of service for violations. Big rigs may also be ordered out of service if drivers have exceeded the limit on hours in the driver log.
“This is for the safety of everyone,” said Cosper. “If you are driving an 80,000 pound vehicle, then you need to be safe. At the same time, cars do not need to cut off large trucks on the road.”
To stay safe and avoid getting a ticket, don’t cut off tractor trailers. Leave plenty of room between the truck and your vehicle before you change lanes. Don’t tailgate tractor trailer trucks. Large trucks have large blind spots, and if the truck brakes suddenly, you may not have time to react. Always leave more room for big rigs when you’re merging with traffic.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a tractor trailer wreck? If so, you need an experienced attorney who is familiar with the laws and regulations regarding tractor trailer trucks. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation. Do not delay; the sooner you hire an attorney, the better your case will be.