An accident between a truck or semi and a motor vehicle, or worse, a motorcycle is always a David versus Goliath story. In most cases, the semi or truck driver is going to walk away with few injuries, while cars and motorcycles are going to end up with serious injuries or fatalities. There are other factors to consider when traveling on the roadways with truck drivers. While truck drivers may have more experience on the road due to the number of hours they spend on the road, there are also factors that make truck drivers more dangerous drivers.
Size Matters – The size of semis, especially those with more than one truck trailer, can restrict the driver’s visibility of other vehicles. Depending on whether a truck is traveling on a multilane highway or making its way through narrow city streets there will be less space for cars to maneuver around semi drivers.
Weight and Height Restrictions – Truck drivers are required to carry special license and must submit to more stringent requirements and checks that motor vehicle or motorcycle drivers. Therefore, the weight load on a semi-truck is a factor in many accidents. The height of the semi is also a reason that many accidents can occur, especially when there are overpasses, bridges, or other entryways with height restrictions.
Weather Conditions – Weather conditions can contribute to any motor vehicle accident. But, in the case of semi-trucks, they can be more important to keep in mind. Snow and ice can create dangerous road conditions for any vehicle, but when semi-trucks lose control they are more likely to obstruct the roadway, involve numerous vehicles, or cause pile-ups on the roadway. Wind can also cause large semi-trucks to jackknife on the road. Rain and snow that obstruct visibility are also factors that increase the risk of accidents.
Fatigue – Because truck drivers are on a timed schedule of pickups and deliveries, they are more likely to succumb to excesses in speed and erratic or aggressive driving, especially when traffic and weather conditions have delayed them along their route. Also, long hours of driving can make for distracted or fatigued semi-truck driver, adding to the risk of an accident.
Only about 15 percent of deaths from collisions between semi-trucks and vehicles cause fatalities in truck drivers. The majority of fatalities occur in vehicle and motorcycle drivers. Due to the seriousness of the injuries from semi-trucks when they involve smaller motor vehicles or motorcycles a national watchdog group provides assistance and information for people who are victims of accidents involving semi-trucks.
Because semi-trucks are part of corporations, when they are involved in accidents, they have the best insurance and attorney’s that money can buy. That is why America’s Watchdog’s Semi Truck Accident Victims Center has set up a website to give people information about semi-truck accidents. This watchdog group feels that all Americans should have equal protection from semi-truck accidents. If you or your family have been the victims of an accident involving a semi-truck, you should also seek legal advice. The experienced attorneys at the Solberg Stewart Miller law firm in Fargo, ND are leaders in litigation regarding motor vehicle accidents.