Truck accidents are among the most deadly types of motor vehicle accidents on the road. Even those who survive truck accidents often find themselves with substantially more severe injuries than victims of other motor vehicle accidents, and suffer more long-term health problems as a result. Here are five major reasons truck accidents are so deadly:
- The relative weight of the vehicle
- One of the biggest reasons truck accidents are so lethal compared to other types of motor vehicle accidents is simply that trucks are, well, big. Depending on the size of the truck and the load it is carrying, a truck can easily weigh ten times as much as the average passenger car, or more. That much extra weight can completely crush smaller vehicles, as well as anyone who happens to be inside them (not to mention what it can do to pedestrians walking along the road). This makes it that much more likely for truck accidents to result in fatalities or long-term health problems.
- Difficulty stopping quickly or maneuvering
- The size and weight of most trucks has other implications on the potential danger trucks pose. Namely, trucks tend to be harder to stop and maneuver compared to smaller, lighter vehicles. Much of this is simple physics: larger vehicles have more momentum compared to smaller ones, and thus take much longer to brake or steer. This means that trucks have a much harder time avoiding accidents, even if they manage to see them coming and try to stop or swerve out of the way.
- Large blind spots
- Speaking of seeing an accident coming, one common problem that trucks have is that they often have large blind spots. Although they are typically equipped with large mirrors to try to compensate for this issue, many trucks simply have blind spots where their drivers cannot see due to the vehicle’s size. This means that a vehicle can move into a blind spot without a truck driver realizing, increasing the likelihood of an accident as they hit a vehicle they did not see.
- The contents of the vehicle
- Aside from the size, weight, and vision issues caused by the massive bulk of trucks, there is also the issue of what those trucks carry. While many trucks carry innocuous goods, some trucks carry fuel, toxic chemicals, or other hazardous cargo that people should never come into contact with. This means that even people who get out of a truck accident relatively unscathed may still need to deal with injuries or illness from exposure to dangerous substances.
- Exhausted drivers
- Finally, one of the major reasons truck accidents are so lethal has nothing to do with the trucks themselves, and instead how truckers tend to operate. Namely, it is shockingly common for commercial truck drivers to drive while physically or mentally exhausted. While it is dangerous for any driver to drive while sleep deprived, it is especially problematic for truck drivers, who are often on the road for long stretches without rest. This substantially increases the likelihood of a truck accident, and increases the chance of victims becoming severely injured or killed as a result.
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is important that you contact an attorney to understand your legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at Zlotolow & Associates can bring more than two decades of experience to your case. We have helped thousands of clients recover through settlements and courtroom verdicts. To schedule a consultation, you can call us toll-free at (886)800-0092, or you can visit our contact page.