The average loaded tractor trailer weighs in at 20 times the weight, and many times the physical size, of any passenger vehicle it shares the road with. Because of this drastic size and weight difference, 18-wheeler accidents involving passenger vehicles can be deadly. Smaller vehicles simply cannot withstand this kind of impact. Still, there are some things car owners can do to protect themselves ahead of time, in the event they are involved in a serious accident with a large truck. As many trucking accident attorneys and safety organizations know, the right vehicle can play an important part in how passengers in smaller vehicles fare in these incidents.

Vehicle Age and Size

Naturally, the larger the passenger vehicle, the better it will fare in most types of accidents. Trucking accident attorneys assert that this has been proven by the countless accident studies done over the years, showing how larger, heavier vehicles typically sustain less damage than smaller, lighter ones. In terms of vehicle age, all cars are becoming more safe with time, and car manufacturers are improving their designs and making their vehicles more crash resistant. Improved engineering to withstand collisions continues to save lives, as newer vehicles become more able to withstand collisions. Generally speaking, today’s cars are safer in 18-wheeler accidents than an older vehicle.

Vehicle Height and Rollover Risk

Rollover accidents occur when a vehicle’s center of gravity is higher, reducing the point at which the vehicle can lose its balance in an impact. This means that cars that are lower to the ground have a lower rollover risk, while taller vehicles, like SUV's, have a higher rollover risk. Vehicles with a higher rollover rate are more easily tipped over during 18-wheeler accidents, increasing the amount of damage done, and the chance of serious injury.  

Important Additional Vehicle Safety Features

As car designs have improved, creating safer vehicles in general, many car makers have added other types of security features to their vehicles to increase safety even more, such as the following:

  • Anti-Lock Braking Systems - Important for more than just avoiding a truck accident, anti-lock brakes have become an essential vehicle safety item today. Anti-lock brakes prevent skidding and loss of control that can happen when a driver slams on their brakes too hard.  
  • Airbag Technology - Modern airbag technology has improved greatly in the past few years. Today, the more advanced airbag systems offered in some vehicles offer multiple types of airbags designed to protect a variety of passengers from different types of impacts.
  • Electronic Stability Control - Electronic stability control - also called ESC - is technology designed to help prevent rollover accidents in vehicles that are more prone to tip over.

Due to the extreme size and weight difference, passenger vehicles are likely to sustain significant damage in 18-wheeler accidents. Yet safety studies indicate that injuries may be reduced in certain vehicles, such as larger, heavier models that are equipped with important safety features. Safety advocates and trucking accident attorneys suggest investing in vehicles that utilize these and other crash safety features, which improve survival rates in crashes of all kinds!

Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webser, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston

Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP

Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law

J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law

7830 Broadway, Suite 122

Pearland TX 77581

Phone: (281) 408-2190

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