Truck accidents happen every day; unfortunately, it is usually the other vehicle or vehicles that take the brunt of the damage. 18-wheeler accidents can be costly, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities. It is important for drivers of all vehicles to understand the dangers of driving around tractor trailers and other large trucks and how to avoid being involved in a trucking accident.
Much Greater Size and Weight
The greatest danger that heavy trucks pose to other vehicles on the roads is their weight and size. A loaded tractor trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, which is a stark contrast to most passenger vehicles that weigh between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds. Combined with their sheer size, which is many times greater than that of an average passenger vehicle, the amount of damage that these trucks can cause in truck accidents can be immense. Driving at highway speeds, that much size and weight can crush a smaller vehicle quite easily, seriously injuring or killing its occupants.
Large trucks are dangerous to drive alongside because they have four very distinct blind spots, where it is impossible for drivers to see if there are other vehicles in their path. This frequently leads to trucks driving into or over other vehicles when drivers attempt to maneuver on the road. Drivers of other vehicles must learn a truck’s blind spots and avoid them to prevent 18-wheeler blind spot accidents.
Accelerating and Braking Distances
Heavy trucks may travel quickly once at full speed; however, they take longer to accelerate to full speed and require much longer braking distances than smaller vehicles. Due to this fact, it is common to see accidents caused by other vehicles cutting in front of big trucks and then being rear-ended by them or by other vehicles driving into the backs of accelerating trucks that have not yet reached highway speeds.
Driver Error and Negligence
Driving a big rig is much harder than it may seem. When drivers become fatigued, distracted, or otherwise careless, accidents can happen. Driver error or negligence is a main cause of many 18-wheeler accidents, making the roads a dangerous place to share with big rigs.
Truck Maintenance and Cargo Handling
Good truck maintenance and proper cargo loading are both essential to safety on the highways. Unfortunately, both of these factors are frequently overlooked and become leading contributors to many truck accidents. Shifting cargo can cause big rigs to become unbalanced, affecting how they handle and cause them to tip over onto the roadways and injure others. Poorly maintained trucks are susceptible to the common mechanical failures that cause accidents as well.
It is easy to see that tractor trailers that are important and necessary to commerce and the economy can also pose a significant threat to other vehicles on the highways. Because these big rigs can be extremely dangerous and truck accidents so severe, it is essential that other drivers travel around them with caution. Preventing 18-wheeler accidents requires drivers of all vehicles to be extremely alert and proceed with care around these much larger, heavier big trucks!
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, 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