One can rarely travel very far on any stretch of highway without seeing a semi-truck coming or going. Our economy is dependent upon goods being moved from one location to another, and this is accomplished largely by the nation’s truckers. While recognizing their essential role in our economy, one must also recognize the serious danger presented by negligent truck drivers, trucks lacking maintenance, and companies that ignore safety regulations. Around 130,000 individuals are injured in truck accident-related events each year.
Some of the worst auto accidents and traffic jams on today’s highways occur when a tractor-trailer crashes. When these massive vehicles go errant, the resulting damage and injury are usually catastrophic. Innocent lives are frequently lost and those who survive may suffer trauma and/or be permanently disabled. 90 percent of the individuals who died in a car and truck accident were those in the passenger vehicle.
Some common types of truck wrecks include:
When a truck comes off its wheels while moving and flips onto its side, it can crush any vehicle next to it, lose its entire load, and skid sideways into other vehicles and structures.
When a truck driver brakes too hard and too fast, the heavy trailer being pulled can swing forward to the side, unable to stop, and end up perpendicular to the cab at a 90-degree angle.
To make a right turn, a trucker first steers a bit to the left to allow plenty of room for the long trailer to clear any curbs on the right. This maneuver is called a wide turn. If the driver is oblivious to items on his right or any rear traffic, the vehicle can create a very serious situation for pedestrians or trapped vehicles.
A tire blowout can occur with any vehicle, but when it happens to a semi-truck, the huge uncontrollable, wayward rolling machine can wreak havoc and death.
When a tractor-trailer plows into the rear of another vehicle, all that is left is devastation and mangled steel. Serious injuries and deaths are common with this type of collision.
The blind spots that exist for a truck driver have been given a name: “No Man’s Land.” If vehicles are traveling in these spots, they are completely invisible to the truck driver. If the trucker changes lanes at this point, the other vehicle may be forced off the roadway or crushed.
Among the most deadly accidents are the ones where a smaller passenger vehicle is not able to stop or doesn’t even see the semi in front of it slowing down. When this vehicle drives under the rear of the tractor-trailer, the result is catastrophic and often fatal.
If two vehicles driving toward each other hit head-on, and one of the vehicles is a large semi-truck, the individuals in the smaller vehicle may not survive.
When a commercial truck’s freight is improperly loaded or not secured correctly, some portion or all of the load can fly out or fall onto the roadway, causing a multi-car pileup.
If a trucker fails to stop at a red light and slams into the side of another vehicle that is properly crossing, this is known as a T-bone accident. Imagine the devastation and injury possible from a semi-truck crashing into a passenger vehicle from the side.
Unique Risks Posed by Different Commercial Vehicles
Commercial trucks come in several different forms and designs to enable them to perform different tasks. Here are some common types of large trucks, along with the dangers inherent in them:
Garbage Trucks and Dump Trucks: While dump trucks can carry various materials, they typically carry gravel, dirt or sand for construction projects. Garbage trucks and dump trucks each have limited views and quite large blind spots. A great concern about their safety stems from the fact that they operate frequently in residential areas where bicyclists, pedestrians, playing children, and family vehicles are present on narrow streets.
Tractor Trailers: These massive vehicles are known as big rigs, 18-wheelers, and semi-trucks. They haul over 75 percent of all cargo shipped in the United States. The long-distance required to stop, the large blind spots, and the high center of gravity (making it prone to roll over) all create dangerous possibilities.
Tanker Trucks: Designed to carry gases or liquids, some hazardous, these vehicles are prone to rollovers if the liquid sloshes around inside the tank. Should the liquid spill in an accident, there is often potential for fire or the escape of toxic fumes.
Some of the other truck types seen on the road are:
- Cement Trucks
- Box Trucks
- Tow Trucks
- Delivery Trucks
Injuries from Truck Accidents
The sheer size of commercial trucks makes their crashes and collisions capable of causing far more damage and injury than passenger vehicles. When the occupants of a passenger car are involved in a truck accident, the following debilitating injuries can occur:
- Crushed chest or extremities
- Concussion or traumatic brain injury
- Severed limbs or broken bones
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Serious cuts leaving disfiguring scars
- Fractured vertebrae, back injury, or damaged spinal cord
- Ligament tears and muscle injuries
The seriousness of some physical injuries can cause the need for extensive medical treatment and long recovery periods. Medical bills can mount while the required rehabilitation keeps the victim from being able to work. Family relationships often suffer greatly from the trauma and psychological stress involved.
Schedule a Free Legal Consultation Today
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having you contact our firm immediately if you or a family member received serious injuries in an accident involving a commercial truck. The Eichholz Law Firm has a team of established truck accident attorneys who can take the facts of your case and prove you deserve fair compensation for the devastation, injuries, and loss you have suffered.
You not only need physical restoration but financial as well. Let us help you with that. Call today for a free consultation with no obligation.