Truck accidents and stories of how they occurred often appear in the news. One reason is that they are often so devastating, resulting in damage to multiple vehicles. The collisions somehow seem even worse than accidents between automobiles. Even worse, there are often serious injuries and fatalities. We will look at the reasons behind truck collisions and why the damage is usually so extreme.
Major Causes of Truck Accidents
Some reasons behind crashes involving tractor-trailers are the same as those behind other vehicle accidents. However, some reasons are specific to truck drivers and their equipment:
- Fatigue. Drivers often get little rest, even when laws require it. It isn’t easy to meet deadlines and still get enough rest, but it’s necessary for public safety.
- Speed. Truck drivers often exceed the speed limit. This can lead to devastating truck accidents because of the truck’s weight and stopping distance.
- Equipment Failure. Some truckers and trucking companies fail to maintain their equipment. Often, older equipment in use is more susceptible to breaking down.
- Cargo Loads. It’s critical for cargo to be carefully loaded, balanced, and secured. Otherwise, the load could shift and either fall into the roadway or destabilize the vehicle.
- Distracted Driving. As with automobile drivers, distractions are a leading cause of accidents. Paying close attention to the road conditions and traffic is particularly crucial when driving a semi.
The vehicle itself also causes some of the devastation that occurs as a result of truck accidents.
Reasons Behind the Devastation
Of course, speed and distracted driving cause a lot of accidents. But why are truck accidents more serious than most automobile accidents? Some of the main reasons have to do with the trucks themselves.
Weight. The average tractor-trailer is much larger than an automobile. In fact, trucks can be 20 to 30 times heavier than cars. In a battle between a semi and a Saturn, the truck will win.
Maneuverability. It is typically far more difficult to navigate traffic when driving a 50-70 foot long vehicle.
Blind Spots. Truck drivers have to deal with significant blind spots. When automobiles linger in these blind spots, they might be sideswiped.
Height. Taller vehicles like tractor-trailers are vulnerable to tipping over. Sometimes it’s because of the truck’s center of gravity, but wind gusts can cause accidents also.
Stopping Distance. Road conditions and weight can affect stopping distance. But it can take the length of two football fields for a truck to come to a complete stop. This fact means that many truck accidents happen before the truck’s speed has slowed. A collision could have devastating effects.
Our Personal Injury Attorneys Have Experience with Cases Involving Truck Accidents
If you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you need help from top-rated, hard-working representation. At Shapiro|Delgado, our attorneys put their injury law experience to work for you. And we handle cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you do.
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