Drivers of passenger vehicles must be vigilant when in the presence of semi-trucks due to the potential of a crash. Unfortunately, the chance of truck accidents can still be high when big rigs are parked on the shoulder or side of the roadway. In poor visibility, an unsuspecting or distracted driver could easily plow into the back of a stopped semi-truck if there is a lack of display warnings like emergency triangles, hazard flashers, or flares.
Wagner Reese, LLP is a leading personal injury law firm. Our firm has attorneys with extensive experience handling Indiana truck accident cases. We have successfully represented injured clients for over 20 years, building a reputation as aggressive advocates for those we fight for.
The Importance of Emergency Triangles for Semi-Trucks
Safety is an important component of commercial vehicle compliance for semi-trucks. Emergency equipment includes fire extinguishers, red flags, and more. The use of emergency triangles, as well as additional roadside safety measures, can greatly reduce the risk of accidents, collisions, and loss of life.
Legal Obligations of Semi-Truck Drivers Regarding Emergency Triangle Placement
Federal regulations require all trucks to be equipped with emergency equipment, including hazard warning devices, like triangle reflectors.
Correct Distance and Positioning of Emergency Triangles for Optimal Visibility
Positioning and placement of emergency triangles for semi-trucks only take a few minutes to properly set up. For optimal visibility, the following steps should be followed:
- Park the tractor-trailer on the side of the road as far from traffic as possible.
- Turn on the truck’s hazard lights.
- Place one emergency triangle close to the truck behind the vehicle. The exact placement of the triangle will vary, depending on the type of road.
- Ensure the reflectors are facing oncoming traffic with their base flat on the ground.
Tips for Placing Emergency Triangles in Different Road Conditions
It is important that drivers can see the reflective triangles from a safe distance, giving them time to slow down or change lanes. The distance between the reflective triangles will vary depending on the type of road.
For trucks pulled over on a straight and flat highway, the trucker should place a reflective triangle every 10 feet, beginning at 100 feet from the rear of the vehicle. On a two-lane road or where traffic will see the truck from the front, emergency triangles should be placed 100 feet in front of the truck.
If a truck is parked near a hill, curve, or any type of obstruction, the trucker should position the triangles at various distances so they are visible to other drivers, ensuring drivers are alerted well in advance to take proper action.
Proper Training for Emergency Triangle Placement
It is important that trucking companies properly train all new hires in the usage of emergency triangles and how they should be placed on various types of roads. Unfortunately, in emergency situations, the driver might only think about what is wrong with their truck and not the proper placement of emergency triangle placement.
Common mistakes in emergency triangle placement
One common mistake truck drivers make when placing their emergency triangles is not placing them at the proper distance. Another common mistake is not using the correct amount of reflective triangles. When this occurs, it can cause drivers to approach the truck without enough warning, potentially leading to an accident.
Consequences of incorrect or improper placement of emergency triangles
When a semi-truck driver fails to properly set up emergency triangles and a crash occurs, they may find themselves facing legal action. Parked or stopped semi-trucks on a road or highway must display warning signals, such as emergency triangles, to properly alert other drivers.
If protective measures are not taken by the driver, they or their employer could be held liable for the resulting collision. Without emergency triangles, an accident victim could suffer catastrophic injuries and need to seek compensation for financial losses for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
How Wagner Reese, LLP Can Help Victims of Truck Accidents
Knowing what steps to take following a truck accident can be overwhelming. You may not know how to protect your legal rights. A dedicated and knowledgeable truck accident attorney from Wagner Reese, LLP, can guide you through the complicated legal process.
Our truck accident lawyer can help you determine who is liable for a truck accident. The potential defendants in the truck accident claim include:
- The semi-truck driver
- The trucking company
- The manufacturer of the truck
- An insurance company
- Government entities
- A shipping company
Our law firm will handle all communications with involved parties on your behalf. Rather than worrying that you will say the wrong thing to the wrong person, your attorney can speak with the insurance company to answer all your urgent questions. With an attorney handling the insurance adjuster, your fears will be eased and only the necessary information will be provided to the relevant parties.
Wagner Reese, LLP’s Expertise in Handling Truck Accident Cases
Truck drivers are responsible for ensuring the safety of other drivers on the road. There are many steps they can take to prevent accidents from happening on the road and off. Emergencies happen, and truck drivers must swiftly but carefully pull their semi-trucks off the road, even in the most inconvenient locations.
Since our inception, Wagner Reese, LLP has served the community, aiding personal injury clients with their legal situations. The accolades and honors our law firm has been awarded are extensive and diverse. The satisfaction of our clients and the compensation they have received speaks to our character. Let one of our award-winning attorneys defend your case if you have been injured in a truck accident. Call or use our quick online form to get connected with an accomplished truck accident lawyer.