Truck drivers are a valuable resource to the United States economy, but they pose a high risk of danger to other drivers on the road. Annually, over 1.5 million tractor-trailer accidents lead to injury and/or death in our country.
There are four main reasons why tractor trailers are so dangerous:
1. Lack of Maneuverability. Because of their size, tractor trailer drivers have a hard time avoiding road hazards. A semi-truck needs more time and space than the average vehicle to change its course.
2. Poor Ability to Brake. A tractor trailer needs at least 350 feet to come to a complete stop from a travel speed of 60 mph.
3. Size. Tractor Trailers with full loads can weight around 80,000 pounds. This is 16 times heavier than a car. With that much weight, impact of a tractor trailer is devastating.
4. Dangerous Cargo. Tractor trailers carry a variety of dangerous cargo, such as flammable, toxic, and/or explosive items. This type of cargo can turn a minor accident into a catastrophic event.
Truck drivers and trucking companies contribute to many of these safety problems in the following ways:
- Driver fatigue. The Federal Motors Carrier Safety Administration puts a limit of 70 hours per week on truck drivers. Those drivers are also required to take sufficient breaks. However, economic concerns encourage drivers to ignore these rules.
- Excessive Speed. Truck drives tend to drive at unsafe speeds, in order to meet quotas, delivery deadlines, and bonuses.
- Improper Training. Learning to drive an 80,000 pound tractor trailer requires special training, and it isn’t uncommon for the importance of this training to go unappreciated.
- Driver Distraction. Truck drivers spend many hours away from home and in their vehicles causing them to engage in unsafe behavior, including texting and driving.
- Poor Maintenance. Tractor trailers are required by Federal Law to receive routine maintenance checks. Ignoring this requirement can lead to preventable and deadly accidents.
Injuries caused by tractor trailer accidents are much more complex than an ordinary car accident case, and negligence in these types of cases doesn’t just fall on the truck driver. Trucking companies may be held liable if unsafe practices and procedures are found to be the cause of the accident.
If you or your loved one was involved in a trucking accident, call me immediately at 1 (800) 556-4769. I will protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1 (800) 556-4769.