11 Alive News in Atlanta is reporting on a fatal accident that occurred on the west side Perimeter (285) near the MLK Drive exit. A man was killed in the two-vehicle crash that involved a 2021 Freightliner tractor-trailer that was stopped for traffic on I-285 at the time of the accident.
The victim was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado. The Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Office said the vehicle “was following too closely and hit the rear bumper of the tractor-trailer.” The tractor-trailer was in the left lane of I-285 and stopped between the Cascade Road exit and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive exit at the time of the collision.
285 & Georgia Accidents Involving Tractor-Trailers
Interstate 285 or I-285 is the interstate that encircles Atlanta, Georgia. The highway is almost 64 miles around and provides access to three other interstate highways, I-20, I-75 and I-85. Also known as the Perimeter, 285 may be used by as many as 2 million people daily and is one of the busiest roads in Georgia and the United States as well.
A 2019 Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Fact Sheet by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) lists Georgia as one of the ten states with the highest average of fatal large truck and bus crashes for the years 2015 – 2017. Here is a link to the document on our website. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia reports that 204 people were killed in Georgia in crashes involving a large truck. Here is the table of data:
While all the aforementioned accidents were not related to I-285, we know that some were. Additionally, this does not take into the thousands of other people that were injured in non-fatality related accidents on all of Georgia’s roads, including 285. Due to the sheer size of the interstate (eight to twelve lanes wide) and the number of people commuting in and around the Atlanta area, driving on 285 in Atlanta can be dangerous.
Safe Driving with Tractor-Trailers in Atlanta
All drivers should always follow the rules of the road whether they are driving in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia or in another state. Being in any accident on any road is never something anyone wants to experience. However, an accident on 285 with a tractor-trailer has the potential for catastrophic results. This is due to the size and speed of the tractor-trailer and the potential for numerous other vehicles to be involved because of significant number of vehicles constantly traveling on the Perimeter.
5 Suggestions When Driving Near Tractor-Trailers
Suggestion 1 – Blind Spots
Big trucks do not have great visibility. There is a blind spot on a tractor-trailer’s right side. That blind spot could prevent a driver from seeing multiple lanes of traffic. There can also be blind spots on the driver’s side, in front of the truck (directly) and behind the trailer. Know these areas and try to avoid driving in them for any significant period of time.
Suggestion 2 – Cutting Off a Tractor-Trailer is Dangerous
It takes a commercial vehicle like a tractor trailer longer to come to a stop than it does for a non-commercial vehicle. If you cut off a tractor-trailer or semi-truck, you could very well end up being rear-ended. If you are going to change lanes to be in front of a big truck or tractor-trailer, then make sure that you are a safe distance in front of the truck before merging in front of it.
Suggestion 3 – Don’t Tailgate a Tractor-Trailer
Never ride too close to the back of any vehicle and this includes tractor-trailers and large commercial vehicles. Tractor trailers are susceptible to blowouts, strong winds and if you are driving too close behind their trailer, they may not even see you. Always allow a safe stopping distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.
Suggestion 4 – Use Your Signals
If you are merging or passing in front of a tractor-trailer, give them the safe courtesy of a signal. These big trucks require extra time to be able to stop and having to slow or stop quickly because you did not use a signal is dangerous for everyone on the road.
Suggestion 5 – Pass Carefully
If you are behind a truck on a two-lane road, think twice about passing. Never cross a double yellow line to attempt to pass a tractor-trailer, or any vehicle for that matter. Passing a tractor-trailer on the left is appropriate as opposed to the right. As with any movement in front of a tractor-trailer, make sure that when you do pass the cab you are leaving a safe distance between it and your vehicle.
Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys in Duluth, Georgia
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident with a big truck or other vehicle, you may have questions about what to do next. Our experienced accident attorneys are here to help and we offer free case evaluations to injury victims every day. Please contact us for a free case evaluation.
Our office would like to extend our condolences to the loved ones of the person that was lost in the accident that we wrote about above. We frequently write on the topic of recent accidents for the purpose of drawing attention to the dangers associated with navigating our Georgia roads. We wish everyone safe travels and implore all to please drive safely.