A semi-truck, also called an 18-wheeler or a big rig, is about 70 feet long and weighs about 80,000 lbs. – that is around 20-30 times heavier than passenger cars. It also requires heavy-duty and high-quality tires, and 20% – 40% more road surface to be able to stop (it will require about 525 feet before a semi-trailer that is traveling at 65 mph would come to full stop; a car at the same speed would require only about 316 feet). With its size and weight, it can easily crush smaller vehicles along its path if ever its breaks fail to work.
Besides its already threatening size and weight, it also has a length that makes it impossible for its driver to notice and see the presence of smaller vehicles driving along its “no-zone” or blind spot areas. These “no-zone” areas refer to spots around a truck where crashes most likely happen because (smaller) vehicles are not visible to the truck driver. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these areas include:
- a truck’s front area, where a smaller vehicle, if its driver suddenly makes an emergency stop or suddenly slows down, can be rear-ended or crashed by a truck;
- a truck’s rear area, where smaller vehicles make the mistake of tailgating it; and,
- a truck’s sides (especially the right or passenger side), where smaller vehicles can easily be crushed if ever a truck changes lane or makes a right turn.
Smaller vehicles that end up driving along any of these “no-zone” areas are placed at higher risks if the driver of the truck is fatigued or sleepy, or even impaired by alcohol or illegal drugs. These are the very same dangers mentioned by truck accident lawyers from the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., who say that, while many truck drivers and trucking companies do everything they can to stay safe on the roadway, the sad reality is that not everyone exercises this level of caution, putting unsuspecting motorists in harm’s way. Drivers forced to exceed the set hours of service restrictions, drivers who abuse alcohol and/or amphetamines while behind the wheel, or drivers/companies that fail to keep their trucks in good working order regularly expose everyone on the road to serious risks.
Anyone who falls victim in an accident involving a truck will need strong representation from a seasoned truck accident lawyer. This will help him/her seek the compensation for all the damages he/she has been made to suffer.Read More