As the busiest shipping season of the year ramps up, you are probably going to see more semitrucks on the roads. While these large vehicles are serving an important purpose, they are also creating a big danger.
Even though most semitrucks travel primarily on interstates, which are considered the safest roads, they have a higher rate of involvement in fatal crashes than regular passenger vehicles. Large trucks account for about four percent of vehicles on the road, but they are involved in approximately nine percent of deaths from vehicle crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that this includes cargo vans that weigh more than 10,000 pounds, single-unit trucks and tractor-trailer rigs.
Size and weight are a factor
A fully loaded big rig may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This can be as much as 20 to 30 times the weight of a passenger vehicle, which should give you an idea of how these large vehicles can crush a smaller one.
The length of these trucks is also a factor. Many semitrucks are more than 65 feet long. This makes them harder to maneuver than regular passenger vehicles. These vehicles require a wide berth to turn, which is something that many other motorists don't give them.
A tractor-trailer that is fully loaded needs a long distance to stop. It can take more than 200 feet for the truck to stop if it was moving 55 miles per hour. In contrast, a regular passenger vehicle can require less than 140 feet to stop from the same speed.
Semitrucks have a very large blind spot that other drivers must stay out of. The general rule of the thumb is that if a driver can't see the trucker, the trucker can't see the driver. There is a "No Zone" on each side of the truck.
In the front, this is a 20-foot distance. A 30-foot blind spot extends behind the truck. On the passenger side, a two lane "No Zone" extends from the front of the semitruck past the rear of the truck for two lanes. On the driver's side, the "No Zone" is one lane in width and starts at the driver's door and extends to the halfway point of the trailer's length.
Serious injuries and fatalities
Semitruck crashes can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. Catastrophic injuries incur extensive expenses that innocent victims should never have to worry about. They might choose to sue the liable party for full and fair compensation.