Large trucks are used every day by the thousands to transport virtually anything across the country. These semi-trucks move food, furniture, mail, and a variety of other goods, and the drivers are on a strict time limit.
Because passenger cars share the roads and highways with so many large trucks, it should be no surprise that accidents are common. Because semi-trucks are so large, they pose a serious threat to passenger vehicles. Injuries from accidents could be severe and are often fatal.
There are issues with large trucks that average drivers may not realize. They are very heavy and that means they cannot stop as quickly as a car. In situations in which a truck may stop very quickly, there is almost always an accident. Because large trucks are so big and heavy, when they do collide with a passenger car, the car will take the brunt of the damage. These aren’t the only issues either. Semi-trucks could have brake failure, accidents in bad weather, and much more.
“A trucking accident occurs when large trailers (10,000+lbs.) collide with other vehicles or pedestrians. Around 500,000 trucking accidents occur every year in the United States. Of these, approximately 5,000 trucking accidents result in fatalities. In fact, one out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a trucking collision.”
These numbers make it very clear. Truck accidents are common and they often result in serious injuries and fatalities.
National Crash Statistics
There are more statistics that can help you better understand just how dangerous collisions with large trucks actually are.
- 68 percent of all fatal truck accidents occur in rural areas.
- More than half of fatal truck accidents occur during the day.
- Weekends saw more than 75 percent of fatal truck accidents.
- 98 percent of the fatalities happen to passenger vehicles.
Now that you understand just how dangerous these accidents are, consider what causes them. Some people don’t understand clearly just because semi-trucks are very different from passenger vehicles. This means there are different reasons why collisions occur.
Reasons for Trucking Collisions
Trucks are very large, very unwieldy, and very heavy. This means they are more prone to accidents, and the way they are made doesn’t help either.
- Tanker trucks are prone to severe unwieldiness because the liquid within the tanks can slosh about and move the whole vehicle.
- A semi-truck traveling at 65 miles per hour needs over 400 feet to stop while a car traveling at the same speed only needs about 100 feet to stop.
- Trucks that aren’t currently hauling a trailer or trucks with empty trailers actually need more stopping distance than loaded trucks.
- Because of the way brake systems work in semi-trucks, the vehicles are very prone to jack knifing. This is when the trailer swings out at an angle from the cab.
Truck drivers are under a great deal of pressure to arrive at certain times and they often drive fatigued. Additionally, passenger vehicles don’t consider how dangerous it is to drive aggressively around semis and this leads to many accidents as well. Of course, driving under the influence continues to be a problem and leads to many collisions with semi-trucks.
There are many different people who could be liable for accidents involving large trucks, including the driver, the driver of a passenger vehicle, the manufacturer of the truck, or the inspectors. In any case, if you or someone you love has been a victim of truck accidents, you need an attorney to help you navigate the case and seek compensation.
Call the truck accident lawyers at Thompson | Wedeking for a free case evaluation.