What defines a large truck, and how many accidents are caused by semi-trucksand other large trucks? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines large trucks as those with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. These large trucks were involved in 363,000 property damage crashes, 107,000 injury crashes, and 4,657 fatal crashes in 2017.
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident involving a large truck, then you could be eligible to collect compensation from the liable parties.
The Outsized Danger of Large Trucks
Several aspects of large trucks make them especially dangerous when they are involved in a collision. These trucks can weigh up to 30 times as much as passenger vehicles, especially when loaded with heavy cargo, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Other factors that make large trucks more dangerous than passenger vehicles include:
- Slow to brake to a full stop due to their sheer size and weight, as loaded tractor-trailers can take 20-40 times as long to stop as passenger cars.
- Greater difficulty controlling large trucks because of their length, size, and weight.
- The abnormally high potential for fatigued drivers who have driven long distances.
Just like all drivers, large truck drivers are susceptible to dangerous behaviors that can cause car accidents. Some of these behaviors include:
- Speeding, especially when there is a financial incentive to deliver a load in a certain amount of time.
- Engaging in distracted driving, which can include texting, making a phone call, eating, drinking, or adjusting the truck’s entertainment system.
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Changing lanes abruptly or without signaling.
- Failing to yield to merging or oncoming traffic.
The stress of being on the road for long periods of time can also increase the risk of careless behavior. Though drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving time in a single period, 11 hours is a long time.
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Possible Injuries from Accidents Caused by Semi Trucks
Often it is the passengers and drivers in other vehicles who are most affected when a semi-truck is involved in a collision. In 2017, 68% of those killed in large truck accidents were occupants of a vehicle other than the large truck.
Some injuries that can result from a large truck accident include:
- Broken bones
- Deep cuts (lacerations)
- Punctured organs
These are just a few of the injuries that can arise. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident caused by a semi-truck or other large truck, a lawyer may be able to help.
A Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Damages
A lawyer will handle the legal responsibility of pursuing damages while you or your loved one can focus on recovery. You could be entitled to compensation covering your losses, including medical bills, lost wages, long-term rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and more depending on the circumstances of your case.
Call our team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation regarding your case.
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