Why Are Truck Accidents So Hazardous?

June 23, 2023

Truck Accident Lawyer

Accidents involving large trucks, such as tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, or 18-wheelers, can cause significant injuries due to several factors inherent to these vehicles and the dynamics of the crashes they are involved in. As an experienced truck accident lawyer – including those who practice at Woron & Dhillon, LLC – can confirm, these accidents often result in severe consequences for various reasons, including their size and weight, the nature of truck operations, and the safety considerations surrounding commercial trucking.

What Distinguishes Truck Accidents from “Ordinary” Car Accidents?

  1. Size and Weight Disparity: Large trucks are substantially heavier and larger than passenger vehicles. A typical fully loaded commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds or more, while the average passenger car weighs around 3,000 to 4,000 pounds. This immense size and weight difference create a significant force of impact during a collision. When a large truck collides with a smaller vehicle, the force exerted on the occupants of the smaller vehicle is disproportionately high, leading to severe injuries.
  2. Longer Stopping Distances: Due to their weight and size, large trucks require longer distances to come to a complete stop compared to passenger vehicles. If a truck driver is unable to stop in time due to sudden road obstacles or traffic situations, it can lead to rear-end collisions or crushing impacts, causing severe injuries to those involved.
  3. Limited Maneuverability: Large trucks have limited maneuverability and require more space to turn or change lanes. This limitation can make it challenging for truck drivers to avoid accidents in certain situations, such as sudden lane changes or navigating tight city streets, increasing the risk of collisions.
  4. High Center of Gravity: The design of some large trucks may result in a higher center of gravity, making them more susceptible to rollover accidents. Rollover accidents can be particularly dangerous as they can result in multi-vehicle collisions and catastrophic injuries.
  5. Driver Fatigue: Truck drivers often cover long distances in a short amount of time to meet tight delivery schedules. This can lead to driver fatigue and impaired judgment, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Fatigued drivers may have reduced reaction times and may be more prone to making mistakes on the road.
  6. Poor Maintenance: Lack of proper maintenance of trucks can lead to mechanical failures while on the road, such as brake malfunctions or tire blowouts, which can result in accidents causing significant injuries.
  7. Distracted Driving: Like all drivers, truck drivers can also be distracted while driving. However, the consequences of distracted driving can be more severe for truck drivers due to the size and weight of their vehicles.
  8. Driver Inexperience: Inexperienced truck drivers may lack the necessary skills to handle large vehicles in challenging situations, leading to an increased risk of accidents.
  9. Cargo Shifts: Improperly loaded or secured cargo can cause shifts during transportation, leading to stability issues and accidents on the road.
  10. Limited Visibility: Large trucks have larger blind spots compared to passenger vehicles, which can make it challenging for truck drivers to see smaller vehicles around them, potentially leading to accidents.

To mitigate the risk of severe injuries in accidents involving large trucks, it is crucial for trucking companies to prioritize safety measures, properly train their drivers, and adhere to strict maintenance protocols. Additionally, all road users should be vigilant and exercise caution when sharing the road with large trucks, understanding their limitations and blind spots to minimize the chances of accidents and injuries. When an accident does occur, understanding these unique features of trucking accidents can help to better inform victims as to why they may be in a strong position to file a lawsuit against a truck operator and/or their employer.

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