Trucks are an essential part of life. We need trucks to deliver the food and goods we need for every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately, that means we have to share the roads with large, commercial trucks on a daily basis. Thousands of people each year die as a result of an accident with a large truck. In 2021, 4,761 people died in truck accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That number is up 9% from the previous year. Many more people were seriously injured in truck crashes.
Commercial trucks go by various names such as big rigs, 18-wheelers, and semi-trailers. Regardless of their name, these are large, heavy vehicles. Trucks can cause accidents that have much more serious consequences than crashes with other, smaller vehicles. Large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, so when they collide with smaller cars or trucks the injuries and damages are more severe. That much weight can be hard to control, especially when conditions are less than ideal. In comparison, a typical SUV weighs no more than 6,000 pounds at most.
Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matt Arnold answers the question: “Is a tractor-trailer accident the same as an automobile accident?”
Harder to Stop
Large trucks can be difficult to stop, especially when they are loaded with cargo. It takes a large truck, on average, about 525 feet to stop when traveling at a speed of 65 mph in good conditions. This equates to about six seconds at that speed. The length it takes to stop is about equal to one and a half football fields. That is about 40% more than typical passenger vehicles. In poor conditions, it can take even longer to stop. Rear-end impacts are dangerous and not only result in severe injuries but can also cause car fires or explosions.
Big rigs are harder to control than other vehicles. Drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) along with specialty endorsements. To obtain a CDL license drivers must go through training and have a permit. A driver must be at least 18 years old and have a regular Class A, B, or C license. Trucks handle much differently than smaller vehicles. One difference is the weight and another is the way they must make turns. Trucks are also long and therefore there are blind spots that can make maneuvering on roads more challenging.
There are some human factors that can make trucks more dangerous than other vehicles. Truck drivers often get paid by the mile and therefore, they have a tendency to work long hours and may drive while drowsy. Although there are regulations in place, drivers may still try to drive longer than they should. In addition to driving while drowsy, truck drivers could be distracted behind the wheel. Drivers on long hauls can multitask, use their phones, or do other things while they drive. There is a shortage of truck drivers, so some may be inexperienced, which can make them more dangerous on the roads.
Accidents with trucks can be quite serious. If you were hurt in a truck crash, do not delay. You will want to seek guidance from an experienced truck accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call Arnold & Smith, PLLC at (704) 370-2828 for a free initial consultation.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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