When it comes to highway safety, an Arizona injury lawyer knows there are few things more important than avoiding accidents with tractor-trailers. Arizona is crisscrossed by a number of major highways, including I-10, I-8 and I-17, and spring is the height of tourism and baseball spring-training season.

The Arizona Department of Transportation reported more than 126,000 crashes claimed 952 lives in 2016 and injured more than 56,000.

Arizona crash statistics show the number of registered vehicles in Arizona has risen sharply since 2002, from 4 million to nearly 5.7 million. And that’s not counting visitors. The most dangerous county, not surprisingly, was Maricopa, where nearly 100,000 crashes accounted for almost 80 percent of the state’s total, followed by Pima (11,646 crashes), Pinal (4,220) and Coconino (3,987).

High Risk of Arizona Trucking Accidents

While only about 5 percent of the state’s fatal collisions involve tractor-trailers, these collisions are a safety focus because they are much more likely to be deadly to the occupants of passenger vehicles. Such collisions typically claim more than 100 lives a year in Arizona.

A recent travel article offered several safety tips for drivers working their way around tractor-trailers or other large commercial vehicles. While most of the suggestions are common sense, it’s a good time to renew your safety efforts around tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles as we deal with the height of tourist season and the local summer travel season to follow.

Safety advice can be boiled down to this: never drive aggressively around large trucks. Other good bits of advice include:

  • Stay out of blind spots.
  • Don’t linger alongside tractor-trailers. Make your pass and allow plenty of distance before re-entering the travel lane.
  • Don’t crowd large trucks. They need plenty of room to stop and turn. Don’t follow too closely and don’t attempt to stop too quickly with a large truck right behind you.
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians should be particularly aware of the dangers of turning trucks, which can pinch in victims and pull them beneath a swinging trailer.
  • Always be aware. Give a truck the right of way. Don’t move until you are sure the driver sees you.

Liability in Arizona Trucking Injury Cases

Accidents involving tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks are always complex cases and typically result in very serious or fatal injuries. Building a successful injury case requires a trucking accident lawyer to determine the full extent of a client’s economic losses, including future lost wages, medical expenses and rehabilitative care.

Law firms that focus on such cases will consult with experienced staff and outside experts to determine losses, identify responsible parties and their associated insurance carriers and investigate the collision to determine all contributing factors to accident and injury. Working with an experienced truck accident attorney who can anticipate and successfully counter these challenges is imperative.