Driving next to a towering big rig can make even the most seasoned driver nervous. These trucks’ sheer size is enough to make you want to throw on your brakes. It’s because of their size, among other factors, that truck accidents often cause worse injuries than run-of-the-mill car accidents.
5 Reasons Why Truck Accidents Are Often Worse
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a total of 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018. Unfortunately, 67% of those victims were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles. Why are truck accidents often worse than car accidents?
1. Semi-Trucks Weigh Significantly More
Drivers and passengers of passenger vehicles are extremely vulnerable. Semi-trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars. While the average weight of a passenger car is around 4,000-5,000 pounds, the legal weight of a semi-truck is 80,000 pounds. This is without any oversize permits.
2. Semi-Trucks Take Longer to Brake
A semi’s braking ability is also to blame. Loaded tractor-trailers take 20 to 40% farther than cars to stop. It takes even longer in wet weather conditions or when brakes are poorly maintained.
3. Truck Drivers Put in Long Hours
Driver fatigue is a known crash risk. Drivers are allowed to drive up to 11 hours in one stretch, according to federal regulations. Should a driver fall asleep at the wheel, they’re unable to stop or move out of the way of other vehicles, increasing crash severity.
4. Semi-Trucks Are Complex
Drivers must have the proper training before hitting the road in a big rig. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Semi-trucks are complex pieces of equipment, making it a challenge for the inexperienced. Without understanding how to drive a semi, serious crashes may result.
5. Semi-Trucks Have Large Blind Spots
Due to the size of these trucks, they have large blind spots when it comes to passenger vehicles. Drivers are often unable to see vehicles directly next to, in front of or behind them. Vehicles who sit in these blind spots are in danger of going unnoticed when a semi-truck driver tries to change lanes or make a turn.
If You’ve Been Involved in a Truck Accident, Call an Attorney Today
Have you suffered injuries due to a semi-truck accident? You may be entitled to compensation for those injuries. To learn more about your potential case, give us a call at 866-503-4864 or send us a message.