Some drivers find the experience of driving alongside or in the close vicinity of a large semi-trailer truck a daunting one that gives them great anxiety. After all, given their size and weight, they have the potential to cause serious harm to anyone that gets into a collision with one of them.
If you or someone that you know has been unfortunate enough to find themselves in a position where they have had a major collisions with a semi-trailer truck, then they should contact the The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan as soon as possible in order to open up a case against the driver of the vehicle and receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
Some of the reasons why a semi-trailer truck collision is so dangerous is down to the following things:
- They have a greater amount of mass – the biggest semi-trailer trucks on the road can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and sometimes even more. This is in stark contrast to the average car that is on the road which weighs about 4,000 pounds, although some can be as light as 1,800 pounds. Although most modern cars do have advanced safety features built into them, the vast majority of them are not able to withstand the power and pressure that is caused from being involved in a collision with a semi-trailer truck. As a result, it leaves any passengers that were inside of the car with major injuries all over their bodies or, at worst, cause them to die.
- They collide at higher speeds – due to the greater mass that semi-trailer trucks have, they are not able to stop as quickly as what other vehicles on the road can. For instance, when travelling at 55 miles / hour, it takes a semi-trailer truck somewhere in the region of 370 ft to come to a complete standstill, whereas for a typical car this stopping distance is only about 120 ft – a massive difference. This often results in a semi-trailer truck going into a collision at a much higher speed than any other type of vehicle, causing devastating effects. In fact, the stopping distance may be even further if the semi-trailer truck is carrying a particularly heavy load or if the road conditions are icy or wet.
- The drivers spend many hours on the road – those people that drive semi-trailer trucks for a living can end up spending as many as 11 hours per day out on the road, behind the wheel. Even after they have taken a break, most commercial drivers get straight back into their seats and head out on the road again, regardless of how well rested or not they may feel. When a driver is not well enough rested, they can be prone to experiencing a phenomenon that is known as ‘road haze’. In this situation, a driver becomes less aware of what is happening on the road around them and so are less likely to do important things like check their blind spots before making a menouvre, putting both themselves and other road users at a great risk of being involved in a collision.
- They are difficult to handle – where the driver of a semi-trailer truck is not adequately trained to be able to drive one, then they can find maneuvering them a very difficult thing to do. Even when one is trained, it is very different to participate in a training module and actually go out on the open road and drive such a large vehicle with a heavy weight in tow. Because of the fact that they can be difficult to manovre, it leads to more collisions with other vehicles.
- They travel many miles – travelling throughout the country, a semi-trailer truck can put in a serious number of miles in the space of just one week and over time these miles really do start to all add up. Inevitably, as a result of all these miles, maintenance issues with these types of vehicles crop up and require fixing in order to prevent the semi-trailer truck from breaking down or being involved in an accident on the road. Whilst most commercial trucking companies have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all of their vehicles are kept in good condition, this does not stop the odd freak mechanical issue from occurring mid drive, thus leading to a collision with another vehicle. Some of the most common issues that semi-trailer trucks experience include, problems with transmission, failure of the windshield wipers, problems with the engine, problems with a tyre / tyres, trailers not being correctly attached, bust light signals, bust headlights.
- The drivers drive too fast – due to the size, weight, and length of a semi-trailer truck they require much more room and space in order to be able to come to a standing stop. Despite of this fact, it does not stop many drivers of these types of vehicles from driving too fast for the conditions that they find themselves in. The main reason for this is due to the fact that the vast majority of semi-trailer truck drivers are paid to do a certain amount of miles each and every day. If, for whatever reason, they are unable to meet their mileage quota then they will likely have their pay docked for that day. However, running behind their mileage quota is not always the reason why semi-trailer truck drivers speed, it can also sometimes happen due to the fact that whilst riding high in such a large vehicle, it can be difficult to gauge just how fast you are travelling at. Driving a vehicle like this at high speed can have devastating effects and puts the drivers and other vehicles on the road at great danger.
If you have been involved in a collision with a semi-trailer truck and have experienced damage to both yourself and your vehicle, then you should get in contact with a specialist Semi-Truck Accident Lawyer as soon as possible.