How Trucking Accidents Differ From Car Accidents
Trucking accidents differ from car accidents in significant ways. Big trucks are much heavier and more challenging to operate. The injuries sustained from a truck accident can be more severe and longer lasting – meaning victims may receive more compensation in these cases.
Truckers and trucking companies are more regulated than ordinary drivers because of the potential harm that truck accidents may cause.
Texas law requires that drivers have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a big truck. Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry and sets limits on the hours a driver may work without taking a break.
Understanding how trucking accidents differ from car accidents is essential in a personal injury case.
Semi-Trucks Are Much Larger and Heavier Than Cars
A fully loaded tractor-trailer may weigh 80,000 pounds, which is 20 to 30 times heavier than any passenger vehicle driving on the same roads. Big trucks are also much taller and have greater ground clearance, which may result in a smaller car crashing beneath the body of a semi-truck.
In a fatal trucking accident, the occupants of the passenger vehicle are much more likely to be killed than the occupants of the big truck, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Big Trucks Need More Room to Stop
A large truck takes longer to slow down and stop than a car. The braking capability of a big rig can be a significant factor in trucking accidents. Because loaded semi-trucks need up to 40 percent more distance than cars to come to a stop, trucking accidents can be more severe upon impact.
When driving on wet roads or with poorly maintained brakes, large trucks need even more distance when stopping. If a truck driver exceeds the speed limit or fails to adjust speed to account for issues such as bad weather, unsafe roads, heavy traffic, or road construction, they may find themselves in trouble when they need to stop.
Semi-Trucks Usually Have Blind Spots
The enormous size of big trucks means they can have significant blind spots. It can be challenging for the driver to see what is immediately in front of, behind, and on either side of their rig.
When a truck driver does not see a smaller car directly in front of them or adequately judge the distance between their truck and a car, they may tailgate, which can lead to a crash.
A truck driver may have difficulty seeing a passenger vehicle approaching on either the left or right side or when a car is following too close. Serious accidents are much more likely because passenger vehicles can be virtually invisible to the truck driver.
The Trucking Company May Be Financially Responsible
Trucking companies may be liable when their driver is at fault in an accident. If you have been the victim of a semi-truck accident, it is vital that you consult an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer to understand your rights and recover the compensation owed to you.
Trucking companies are liable for the following:
- Ensuring their drivers stay within the hours of service limits set by federal and state regulations
- Hiring qualified, safe drivers
- Implementing and enforcing safety procedures
- Maintaining their trucks and ensuring they are in good working condition
Trucker driver negligence plays a prominent role in a trucking accident. But, if a trucking company fails to meet its obligations to help ensure highway safety, it may be liable for the damages resulting from its breach of duty.
Losses Suffered From a Trucking Accident May Be More Substantial
The injuries and damages incurred from a trucking accident can be devastating. While the circumstances of each accident are different, with proper legal representation, it is not uncommon for a trucking accident victim to be awarded substantial damages.
Contact an Experienced Fort Worth Truck Accident Attorney for Help With Your Claim for Damages
Trucking accidents differ from car accidents in significant ways. Trucks are much heavier, are more difficult to stop, and have blind spots, which can all contribute to an accident.
Additionally, truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to more stringent regulations, and when they do not abide by those regulations, they can be liable for more significant penalties. Further, trucking accidents are capable of causing greater injuries and damages than most car accidents.
You should seek the advice of an experienced Fort Worth trucking accident lawyer to help you navigate a personal injury claim.
For more information, please contact an experienced truck accident lawyer at Parker Law Firm Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have convenient locations in Bedford and Fort Worth, Texas.