The average compact car weighs about 2,600 to 3,000 pounds, while a large car can weigh up to about 4.400 pounds. A large truck, by contrast, weighs at least 10,000 pounds, with some large commercial trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds. With such vast weight differences between passenger vehicles and trucks, truck accidents present a different set of issues than those commonly seen in other types of car accidents. If you have suffered an injury due to an accident involving a large truck, a Tifton truck accident attorney may be able to help you recover.
How Common Are Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are not the most common type of motor vehicle accidents. However, trucking accidents are overrepresented in fatal accident statistics. Despite making up only 5% of all registered vehicles in the United States, trucks accounted for 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in the year 2020. When trucks collide with passenger vehicles, it usually doesn’t end well for the occupant of the passenger vehicle. Of fatalities involving large trucks in 2020, about 71% of the victims were occupants of other vehicles, compared to only 17% of the occupants of large trucks.
Accidents Unique to Trucks
Given their substantially larger size and weight than passenger vehicles, trucks present several unique issues in vehicle accidents.
Large Blind Spots
Blind spots are not unique to trucks, but trucks have more of them, and they cover a larger area than passenger vehicle blind spots. A truck’s “no-zone” covers the areas to the front, sides, and rear of the truck. It is much easier for other vehicles to disappear into a truck’s “no-zone” than into a passenger vehicle’s blind spot.
Trucks are made of two parts — the cab, where the driver sits, and the trailer, where the cargo is stored. While these parts are connected, they each have their own wheels and braking systems, meaning that it is possible for them to operate semi-independently of each other. Jackknifing occurs when the two components separate from each other, causing the trailer to swing out from the cab at a wide angle, potentially hitting anything or anyone in its path.
Trucks sit higher than passenger vehicles, creating more space between the bottom of the truck and the ground. An underride accident occurs when a passenger vehicle hits either the side or the back of the truck and slides underneath it. These accidents often result in the top of the passenger vehicle being completely crushed or even sheared off, leading to serious and catastrophic injuries.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Trucks exist to transport cargo from one place to another. However, loading and securing cargo into a large moving vehicle is an art in itself and one that can easily go wrong. Improperly loaded or secured cargo can shift during transport, causing the truck to veer out of its lane, roll over, or jackknife, among other types of accidents. The cargo itself may also be hazardous, posing additional risks to bystanders in case of a spill or fire.
Recover from a Truck Accident with Help from a Tifton Truck Accident Attorney
The victims of truck accidents often face more severe and expensive injuries than those of other types of accidents. The best way to get back on your feet after a truck accident is to contact an attorney who can help you pursue legal action against the liable parties. To get started, please contact a Tifton truck accident attorney at the Hudson Injury Firm by calling 229-396-5848 or using our online form.