Truck Accidents

Truck accidents involving a car or pickup are usually very tragic for the occupants of the car or the pickup. The vast difference in size and weight of the vehicles and the heavy frame structure of trucks give trucks the advantage over cars in an accident.

Truck/Tractors on the Highway

We are happy when we go to the store and they have the items we are shopping for. Usually, we don't think about how those items got to the store. They were transported by trucks to your local retail store.

Trucking is big business and there are a lot of trucks on the highway. For the most part, we don't think about what that truck is hauling when we pass it on the highway.

Because of the large number of heavy trucks on the highway, a large number of truck accidents occur each year.

Truck Momentum

Truck/tractors have a lot of momentum traveling down the highway which means it is difficult to stop. Not only is the big rig difficult to stop, it is difficult to start. It requires a large engine.

Announcers for football games often talk about one team have the momentum or the momentum has shifted from one team to the other.

Another way to view momentum is to think of the 335 pound tackle running into a 200 pound running back. If the two football players are running toward each other at the same speed, the tackle has 167 percent more momentum than the running back. When they collide, the 335 pound tackle will definitely have the advantage over the 200 pound running back.

The momentum of a loaded truck/tractor can be 1600 percent more than a car. Take a truck that weighs 80,000 pounds and a SUV weighing 5,000 pounds. Traveling at the same speed, the truck/tractor is 16 times heavier than the SUV. Therefore, the momentum of the truck is 1600 percent greater than the SUV. In an accident, the truck/tractor wins every time.

Causes of Truck Accidents

Highway traffic accidents have 4 components.

  1. The Driver,
  2. The Truck/Tractor,
  3. The Roadway and
  4. Other Drivers

    The Driver. Truck accidents are sometimes attributed to the driver. Trucking companies must meet customer delivery deadlines. In an effort to meet the deadlines, truck drivers may exceed speed limits and ignore the driving time restriction. The result is negligence generally resulting from stressed and fatigued truck drivers.

    The Truck/Tractor. Commercial trucks must be maintained and inspected daily. Strict rules apply to truck inspections by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). A truck that is not maintained very well is a hazard to everyone on the highway.

    The Roadway. The highway can become a hazard to all motorists. Heavy rains, winds and snow can create dangerous situations for trucks on the roadway. Many truck accidents can be averted simply by truck drivers stopping and parking in safe locations until the hazard has lifted.

    Other Drivers. The other vehicle drivers are sometimes the cause of accidents involving trucks. A truck/tractor cannot stop as quickly as a car. Whenever a car pulls in front of a heavily loaded truck, the driver puts himself and the truck driver in danger.

Truck Regulations

The requirements to obtain a driver's license to drive a truck are much more stringent than applying for a license to operate a passenger car. The reason for requiring Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is the truck is much more complicated and requires more skill to drive than a passenger car.

Reconstructing Truck Accidents

Accident investigations involving commercial trucks require a person with the right qualifications. The analysis of a truck/tractor accident will include investigating the air barking system, turning radius, electronic control module, accident avoidance capabilities, driver visibility and tire to road friction coefficients.

Stay safe. Watch out for all vehicles on the highway!


Other Heavy Truck Articles:

Commercial Trucks

Air Brakes in Truck/Tractors

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