What Makes Trucks So Dangerous to Motorists?
Truck accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents a motorist can experience. Compared to the typical car accident, truck accidents involve much greater forces that can cause catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain and spinal injuries. The truck accident attorneys at Banafshe Law Firm have deep experience handling these cases and helping their clients get results.
One of the reasons that trucks are so dangerous to other motorists is the fact that they are so much larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road. A fully-loaded 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which is 20 to 30 times heavier than the average passenger vehicle. In the event of an accident, the size and weight of the truck can exert tremendous force on the other vehicles involved in the accident. It is not uncommon for a large truck to actually crush smaller vehicles in the event of a collision.
Of course, tractor-trailers are significantly larger than other vehicles, even if you don’t consider their weight. This creates visibility problems for other vehicles and can also make it difficult to pass them. They also have a higher much higher center-of-gravity and higher ground clearance. This makes them prone to tipping over while turning and even in high winds.
Although they have powerful engines, large trucks take longer to get up to speed due to their size and weight. A truck cannot accelerate quickly, for example, when it needs to pass another vehicle or is merging on the freeway. When motorists fail to see the slow-moving truck or simply refuse to slow down, it can quickly lead to an accident.
Tractor-trailers also require a significantly longer distance to come to a stop. If they are tailgating or another vehicle cuts in front of them, they may be unable to stop in time to avoid an accident.
It is pretty common for trucks to carry hazardous cargo, especially tanker trucks. In the event of an accident, this cargo can create hazards for other drivers. In some cases, the cargo may be highly flammable or explosive. Other drivers involved in the accident can suffer serious injuries caused by the cargo in addition to the accident itself.
Because tractor-trailers are so long and have limited windows, tractor-trailers have significantly larger blind spots than other vehicles. Truck drivers can have difficulty seeing vehicles approaching them from behind on either side or directly behind the truck. Accidents can occur when the truck changes lanes and collides with a vehicle the driver couldn’t see in its blind spot.
Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, driving thousands of miles each year. Unfortunately, the relentless demands of this industry can give rise to other dangerous situations:
Since 2003, Banafshe Law Firm has been helping truck accident victims rebuild their lives. To learn more about what we do or to discuss your case, contact us today at 800-789-8840 to schedule a free consultation.
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