While it is frustrating and oftentimes dangerous, our reality in Georgia is that we share the highway with large trailer trucks. These drivers are overworked and underpaid, so it is in our best interest to take caution around big-rigs to protect ourselves on Georgia roads. Recently, there was an incident in Columbus, Georgia that illustrates the worse-case-scenario situation involving tractor trailers. On September 7, 2017, a multi-vehicle accident occurred on the busy J.R. Allen Parkway in Columbus, Georgia. This accident involved multiple trailer trucks and resulted in the death of an only 19-year old resident of Phenix City. A big-rig flipped and spilled the cardboard contents of its trailer along the highway, resulting in a multi-car crash that led to the unfortunate fatality of such a young man. The deceased was transported to Columbus' Midtown Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
While the explicit details of this crash are unknown, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the worst scenarios by simply adhering to Georgia law. According to O.C.G.A 40-8-76.1, “Each occupant of the front seat of a passenger vehicle, shall, while such a passenger vehicle is being operated on a road, street, or highway of this state, be restrained by a seat safety belt….”
All too frequently, passengers and drivers perish or are seriously injured on the road due to failure to wear seatbelts. A simple “click” is all it takes to protect yourself from the sometimes dangerous actions of other drivers. While the details of this case are forthcoming, it is worth mentioning that every time you are a passenger in a vehicle, be it Uber, Lyft, a friend's--or your own car, please use the seatbelt for your own safety. It is a fact that we, as Georgia drivers, must navigate our roads and highways with large vehicles, traffic, and unpredictable drivers. It is up to us as responsible and safe drivers to protect ourselves and those around us by taking every precaution necessary and by employing defensive driving.