Semi-trucks are an integral part of the American transportation system, and they are largely responsible for moving goods and materials around the country. The United States does have a rail system, but it isn’t sufficiently developed in many areas, and much work is still done by truck. This means that your average driver has to share the road with semi-trucks on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, driving around these trucks does create some additional risks. It is important for all drivers to know about these risks so that they can avoid accidents or take appropriate action if one occurs.
1. They weigh 80,000 pounds
The first thing to know is that a semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The car that you’re driving probably weighs around 4,000 pounds. Even if you drive a large pickup truck, it’s not going to be close to the weight and size of a semi-truck. This means that you face a disproportionate amount of risk because you are more likely to suffer severe injuries if you are involved in an accident.
2. They need more than 500 feet to stop
In part because of this weight, trucks also take a long time to stop. They usually require more than 500 feet, which could be twice as much as you would need in a passenger car. This can lead to a lot of rear-end accidents or chain reaction accidents. For example, if traffic slows down because people are merging up ahead, and a truck driver doesn’t hit the brakes soon enough, he or she may not be able to stop before hitting those cars at the back of the line.
3. They are taller than passenger cars
Height also plays a role, especially because it can create underride accidents. In this type of accident, your car strikes the underside of the trailer with the front windshield. Not only is this very dangerous at the moment of impact, but a passenger vehicle can become pinned under a truck.
Unfortunately, truck accidents happen every day, and they often lead to severe injuries and even fatalities. If you’ve suffered life-changing injuries or lost a loved one, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.