All road accidents can be dangerous, but accidents that involve a commercial truck are usually the most dangerous and cause the greatest injury. Commercial truck often ferry petroleum products, perishable goods, or other heavy cargo. While we cannot overstate their importance to our economy, the size and weight of these trucks can turn a small accident into a fatal one. Once involved in an accident, commercial trucks result in many more fatalities than traditional motor vehicle.
Commercial truck accidents are more dangerous compared to other car accidents due to a number of factors including:
Commercial trucks weigh between 10,000 to 80,000 pounds, while normal passenger cars weigh between 2,000 and 4000 pounds. Since the force exerted in an accident is mass multiplied by acceleration, commercial trucks traveling at even low rates of speed can create significant force. Additionally, commercial trucks are 45 to 65 feet long, while passenger vehicles are 12 to 18 feet long. This length makes it more difficult for the driver to understand the vehicle’s space on the road, which leads to crashes.
Commercial trucks are heavy and longer compared to passenger cars. This puts them at a higher risk of collision as they cannot avoid an obstacle on the road quickly. Trucks usually have twice the turning radius than passenger cars. Due to their large size and weight, they can’t quickly maneuver on the road. This increases the associated risks with avoiding existing hazards on the road.
Larger vehicles like commercial trucks require more distance to stop in time as compared to cars. Large trucks can take more than 520 feet to make a complete stop whereas cars require an estimated 300 ft to make a stop. This makes commercial trucks a high risk for rear-end collisions, as drivers cannot stop in time for a traffic slowdown ahead of them.
Many trucks haul hazardous materials. An accident involving a truck carrying hazardous materials can be catastrophic. Dangerous materials like flammables gas can cause enormous damage when involved in an accident.
Most truck drivers follow Texas regulations as well as those from the Department of Transportation. However, some truck drivers have not undergone adequate training. Failing to understand truck driving techniques, defensive driving, and truck safety concerns could cause an accident. Truck drivers should have the necessary know-how to avoid jackknifing, skidding and hydroplaning.
Trucking companies have the obligation to ensure that their trucks are well-maintained, and any wear and tear is taken care of. Failure to do this may result in an accident due to the malfunctioning of essential parts in the truck, such as the braking and steering systems.
Trucks have limits as to what they can carry, how they can store it, and how heavy the load is. There are specific statewide and national regulations to adhered to when it comes to loading. Weight, size, height, length and width all must comply with these regulations. Failing to adhere to these could make the truck to be too heavy to drive safely, or likely to tip over.
Some trucking companies put their truck drivers under pressure to meet strict deadlines. This could contribute to an accident as they could be driving too fast or too long in order to meet deadlines.
Truck drivers often experience fatigue as a result of the long distances they are expected to cover in one day. And because of this fatigue, their sense of judgment in emergency and non-emergency cases may become impaired.
Truck accidents are very dangerous and can lead to serious injuries, death, or severe and permanent damages. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, seeking medical attention should be your first priority. If your injuries are the result of a truck driver’s negligence, it’s highly advisable to contact a lawyer immediately. Our experienced lawyers at Lone Star Injury Attorneys can help you with your truck accident claim and hold the negligent parties accountable. Call our office today for a free consultation.