Why Are Truck Accidents So Deadly?
Some of the most horrific accidents you can encounter on the road involve commercial trucks. A collision that would be minor with another vehicle can be deadly with one of these vehicles. Great care must be taken when driving near a commercial truck. Here’s why an accident with a truck is so dangerous.
Simple physics tells us that the heavier something is, the more force it can produce. Commercial trucks can weigh over 20 times the average weight of a normal vehicle. It’s no wonder that, out of the thousands of fatalities that happen each year with commercial vehicles, truck drivers rarely get killed compared to those in smaller cars.
Heavy trucks also take a lot longer to slow down. Despite air braking systems, trucks need to have a lot of stopping distance to come to a halt. This is why it’s so important that you give trucks a lot of room in front before passing back in front of them. If you merge back over then have to stop suddenly, you might get rear-ended.
The size of commercial trucks makes the blind spots on these vehicles far larger than you might realize. Truckers are trained to notice when cars enter and leave these blind spots but it’s not a foolproof method. The basic rule to keep yourself safe is to always be able to see the trucker’s mirrors. It’s not a perfect way to stay noticed, but it will help.
The next reason commercial trucks are a risk to other drivers is the loads they carry. Here are just some of the things that can happen:
* Improper strapping or loading causes cargo to fall off the vehicle and onto the road or other vehicles. This can also happen due to a crash.
* Imbalanced loads can cause a truck to jackknife. This is when the trailer swings perpendicular to the cab of the truck. Once it gets beyond a certain angle, it’s nearly impossible for a truck driver to recover. These kinds of loads can also cause trucks to tip over on steep curves.
* Heavy loads can put a strain on the link between the trailer and the cab. It’s possible for them to separate if this connection isn’t maintained or applied properly.
* Some vehicles carry hazardous materials that, if released, cause serious damage to life and property and require special crews to clean up.
The American economy depends a lot on the skills of truckers. Commercial truckers have to get special licenses and training to get on the roads. In the hands of a skilled driver, the risk of an accident is low. However, in an effort to improve speed and maximize their income, some truckers and trucking companies take unnecessary risks. Driver fatigue and even drug use may cause a trucker to get into a wreck.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a trucking accident, it is possible to receive compensation. You should reach out to a lawyer with experience in trucking accident cases like the lawyers at Galligan Law. Feel free to call us for a consultation if you have legal questions about a trucking incident.