Inexperienced motorists, as well as veteran drivers, can be intimidated by the size, weight, and speed of 18-wheelers. When these large trucks pass by at full speed, the resulting air currents can pull and push vehicles along with them. Distracted drivers represent a large number of crashes involving 18-wheelers, but no one is ever safe from the dangers posed by sharing the road with large commercial trucks. Below are several important details that all motorists should know about 18-wheeler accidents. If you have been injured in a truck accident, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
Various People Can be Held Responsible for 18-Wheeler Accidents
Both Missouri and Kansas laws state that any person who plays a role in causing an accident can be found negligent. Some of the most common types of individuals who are responsible for accidents include 18-wheeler drivers, trucking companies, truck maintenance companies, truck part manufacturers, and even local municipalities.
18-Wheelers Need Great Distance to Stop
An 18-wheeler fully loaded with cargo traveling at speeds common for a highway or interstate requires over 200 yards to come to a stop. 18-wheelers can take approximately 40% longer to stop than a passenger vehicle because 18-wheelers are substantially heavier. If it is raining or other dangerous conditions exist on the roads, it can take 18-wheelers an even greater distance to stop.
18-Wheeler Crashes Can Occur in Many Different Ways
Crashes involving 18-wheelers can occur in various ways that are unique to larger vehicles and less common among passenger vehicles. Some types of unique 18-wheeler crashes include:
- Tire blowouts. When tires on 18-wheelers blow out, serious crashes that lead to injuries and even deaths can occur. Tires on 18-wheelers often weigh over 100 pounds. As a result, when tires come off 18-wheelers traveling down highways at high speeds, the tire can end up causing serious damage.
- Rollovers. As a result of the substantial size and weight of 18-wheelers as well as their high center of gravity, 18-wheelers commonly roll over, particularly if motorists are navigating sharp turns. When rollovers occur, significant property damage, as well as injuries and fatalities, can occur.
- Jackknifing. A vehicle jackknifes when it is stopped suddenly and the trailer attached to the truck turns sideways and begins moving toward the 18-wheeler’s cab. Passenger vehicle drivers and occupants who are close to these trucks when they jackknife can end up facing substantial property damage and loss of life.
- Bobtailing. When an 18-wheeler driver operates the vehicle without an attached trailer, it is referred to as bobtailing. Unfortunately, due to weight issues, semi-tricks that are not connected to trailers are often unstable on the road. This instability can end up causing serious injuries and fatalities.
18-Wheelers Use Many More Parts Than Smaller Vehicles
18-wheelers include many components and moving parts, including all of the basic parts utilized in passenger vehicles. If one of these unique parts fails to operate properly, deadly accidents can quickly occur. These parts include things like axles, fifth-wheels, and truck gears.
Four Things to Know About 18-Wheeler Accidents: Speak With a Dedicated Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in an 18-wheeler crash, you should not hesitate to speak with a compassionate truck accident attorney. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.