A 23-year-old Denton man died last week after the service truck he was driving crashed into a Perdue flatbed tractor-trailer loaded with chickens at the intersection of northbound MD 313 and eastbound Line Road last Wednesday morning.
According to Maryland State Police, Lee Albert Asbury III became trapped in his truck after his vehicle struck the left side of the Perdue truck. Roberto Cruz of Preston, Maryland, was a passenger in the service truck. He managed to evacuate the vehicle, as did the driver of the Perdue truck.
Police say a fire started right beneath Asbury’s seat not long after the accident. A FedEx tractor trailer driver and a Pave Master paving truck arrived at the scene to help. Asbury was taken by ambulance to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Here are the following 2005 statistics for vehicle-related accidents involving large trucks .
· 57 large trucks Involved in fatal crashes.
· 60 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks.
· 1,624 large trucks involved in non-fatal crashes.
· 941 large trucks involved in injury crashes.
· 1,293 injuries in crashes involving large trucks.
· 683 large trucks involved in towaway crashes.
The DMV offers the following suggestions for reducing the chances of becoming involved in a large truck-related accident:
Large trucks take longer to stop than a car traveling at the same speed. The average passenger vehicle traveling at 55 mph can stop in about 400 feet. However, a large truck traveling at the same speed can take almost 800 feet to stop. Don’t move in front of a large truck and suddenly slow down or stop. The trucker will not be able to stop quickly enough to avoid crashing into you.
When any vehicle makes a turn, the rear wheels follow a shorter path than the front wheels. The longer the vehicle, the greater the difference. This is why big rig drivers must often swing wide to complete a right turn. When you follow a big rig, look at its turn signals before you start to pass it. If you think the truck is turning left—wait a second and check the turn signals again. The driver may actually be turning right.
Trucker’s Blind Spots
Passenger vehicle drivers incorrectly assume that a trucker can see the road better because he or she is higher off the road. While truckers do have a better forward view and bigger mirrors, they still have serious blind spots and your vehicle can get lost in those blind spots. You block the trucker’s ability to take evasive action to avoid a dangerous situation if you stay in those blind spots. Generally speaking, if you can’t see the truck driver in his or her side mirror, he or she can’t see you. These blind spots are often called the “NO ZONE.”
Trucks are designed to transport products and they are not as maneuverable as passenger vehicles. Large trucks have longer stopping and starting distances. They take more space for turns and they weigh more. On multilane highways and freeways, large trucks usually stay in the center portion of the lane to help the flow of traffic. This also increases the trucker’s options in case he or she must change lanes to avoid a hazard.
Mistakes To Avoid When Driving Around Large Trucks:
· Cutting off a truck in traffic or on the highway to reach an exit or turn. Cutting into the open space in front of a truck is dangerous. Trying to beat a truck through a single lane construction zone, for example, removes the truck driver’s cushion of safety and places you in danger.
· Don’t linger alongside a truck when passing. Always pass a large truck on the left side and after you pass the truck, move ahead of it. Don’t linger, because if you do you make it very difficult, if not impossible, for the trucker to take evasive action if an obstacle appears in the road ahead.
· Following too closely or tailgating. When you follow so closely behind a truck that you cannot see the truck driver’s side view mirrors, the trucker has no way of knowing you are there. Tailgating a truck, or any vehicle, is dangerous because you take away your own cushion of safety.
· Never underestimate the size and speed of an approaching tractor-trailer. A large tractor-trailer often appears to be traveling at a slower speed because of its large size. Many passenger vehicles vs. large truck accidents take place at intersections because the passenger vehicle driver did not realize how close the truck was or how quickly it was traveling.
The personal injury law firm of Lebowitz and Mzhen represents clients in the Maryland and Washington D.C. areas who have been injured due to someone else’s negligence. If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck-related accident due to someone else’s actions, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen for a free consultation.
Denton Man Killed In Wednesday Crash, WBOC.com, November 15, 2006
National Large Truck Crash Facts
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