Any car crash can have a significant impact on your life. When a large commercial vehicle is involved, the injuries that result can be catastrophic or even fatal. What makes semi-truck accidents so dangerous?
The size of a commercial vehicle gives them more power.
The size of semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles is one of the first things to consider. These trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, have a length of more than 45 feet, have a width of up to 102 inches and a height of more than 13 feet. As a result, large commercial vehicles have significantly more force behind them in a crash, and drivers’ height can make it difficult to see smaller vehicles.
The weight of a large truck makes it significantly more difficult to stop.
The size of a big rig doesn’t just give it more power. Once a vehicle has accelerated, the weight of the truck also makes it difficult for these vehicles to stop if a car in front of them must slow, if a crash occurs in front of them or if another hazard arises. At 55 miles per hour, these trucks require nearly 200 feet to stop effectively, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends that drivers double that distance in snowy, icy or rainy conditions.
Semi-trucks are significantly harder to maneuver.
In addition to trucks’ difficulties in stopping, large trucks are also much less maneuverable than smaller vehicles. They can require a much larger radius to complete turns and often cannot swerve to avoid obstacles. Trucks often cannot avoid hazards as a result, and they may hit vehicles head-on as a result.
Trucks may carry hazardous materials.
While semi-trucks can pose a danger to the other vehicles on the road around them, their trailers’ contents may also be dangerous. The FMCSA estimates that 3% of trucking accidents in 2017 involved hazardous cargo, and this can create additional dangers in a crash. Dangerous materials can intensify fires from a collision, release toxic chemicals into the surrounding area and put those at the crash scene at risk of inhaling poisonous gas.
If you or a loved one has experienced the harm of a big rig crash firsthand, it can be essential to speak to an attorney. They can help you take action and get the financial support you need to recover after this catastrophic event.