We know that one out of every eight fatal motor vehicle accidents involve a collision with a semi-trailer truck. Also known simply as “semis”, these large vehicles carry heavy loads and come with their own special risk to other drivers on the road. Why are semi accidents more dangerous than accidents with other vehicles?
Fully loaded semi trailer trucks carry as much as 40 tons (80,000 pounds) of weight. When a 40 ton vehicle is traveling at highway speeds, the impact is much greater than a smaller vehicle. This is why drivers of semi-trailer trucks receive so much training — their vehicles are extremely dangerous. Even though most semi drivers are safe, their business and livelihood depend on moving large amounts of freight in a small amount of time. When there’s 40 tons of weight at your back, a simple poor driving decision can mean the difference between a safe trip and a deadly collision. Between the pressure on a semi driver to carry his cargo on time and the heavy impact of a semi trailer on a passenger vehicle, it is no wonder that over ten percent of deadly highway accidents involve semis.
The trucking industry takes precautions against these poor decisions, including mandatory breaks and limits on the length of time that a driver can be behind the wheel. Still, semi accidents where sleep deprivation was a factor are almost five times as likely as similar accidents with passenger cars.
Some other common causes of fatal semi trailer accidents are increased speed (drivers attempting to travel farther during their allotted driving time), dangerous weather conditions such as rain or ice, or simple mechanical failure. Semi trucks are complex machines with many moving parts, making accidents involving improperly secured loads extremely likely. One reason truck accidents are more common is easily avoided — if you drive in a semi’s “blind spot”, you are invisible to the driver. The easiest way to avoid a deadly truck crash is to be aware of semi trucks in your vicinity.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident, contact a truck accident lawyer in Indiana.