They Have Tons Of Power
Semi-trucks are big, they have a lot of power, and they can’t stop as quickly as a passenger vehicle can. Road conditions from weather to construction can affect their controllability. Even if a driver is wide awake and concentrating on the task of driving, an accident with a truck can cause more damage than one with a passenger car simply because:
• Tractor trailers and flatbed trucks can weigh more than 40 tons compared to passenger cars and smaller trucks that average about 2.5 tons. This sheer weight difference gives it more power to cause damage when colliding with a passenger vehicle
• Due to their larger size, tractor trailers have limited visual capability and have more blind spots than a car. The blind spot on their right side is bigger than that in passenger vehicles.
• The large tires and height of the deck of the trailer can pose serious threats to passenger cars, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. A car who rear-ends a truck might slide right underneath the back.
• Their size and weight make it difficult to stop quickly. It takes up to 40 percent further for a truck to stop as opposed to a passenger vehicle.
Driver Negligence Plays A Role
Semi-truck drivers must get a special license and complete a required number of training hours before they can hit the road. This does not exempt them from making human mistakes. Unfortunately, driver negligence can play a large role in tractor trailer accidents. Driver fatigue is a well-known crash risk. Under federal regulations, drivers are allowed to be on the road for up to 11 hours at a stretch, but some will work even longer to get better pay.
Due to strict deadlines, many truck drivers must eat and drink while on the road, causing driver distraction. Some drivers spend a long time away from their family, and have been found to use their cell phone for texting or talking while driving. Even programming a GPS can take attention away from the road for long enough to lead to trouble. Unfortunately, driver negligence can cause permanent injury, continued mental trauma, and loss of life.
Staying Safe While Sharing The Roadway
There are federal safety regulations in place that are designed to protect drivers, passengers, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and all people who share the roadway. One regulation requires the usage of electronic logging equipment to ensure that drivers are not working longer hours than allowed under the federal daily driving limits.
Despite regulations that can reduce the risk of accidents, there are several ways to protect yourself. Use turn signals and headlights to help semi-truck drivers see your vehicle better. Signal drivers if you see any loose tires or dangerous equipment on their trucks. Always keep a safe distance between your vehicle and a semi-truck, especially if they are hauling hazardous materials or have a tire blow-out.
Recovering Your Health And Your Losses
Federal laws also require commercial trucks to carry insurance due to their potential to cause harm. If you become injured in an accident with a semi-truck, these insurance policies can help with:
• Medical bills and continued treatments.
• Lost wages from time away from work.
• Daily living expenses while you recover.
• Easing financial burdens that were caused by the accident.
If you’re involved in a collision with a semi-truck, chances are high that the truck will sustain minimal damage while you sustain the maximum. Take all precautions to avoid an accident with a truck at all costs, but seek the counsel of an experienced auto accident lawyer if it happens to you. They can help you get your life back together when a semi-truck rips it apart..