Auto accidents are an everyday occurrence in Rockford. Most accidents involve one or two passenger vehicles and only result in minor injuries. Unfortunately, there is a more select group of motor vehicle accidents that typically yield a far greater amount of damage to lives and property–those involving semi-trucks.
Anytime that a big truck accident occurs, it is likely to cause serious damage, often to drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles. Let’s review some of the reasons why this is the case.
There Is a Substantial Difference in the Weight and Size of the Vehicles
The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates “commercial motor vehicles” nationwide, which includes any truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds. That may not sound too concerning at first. But keep in mind this is a minimum weight. In reality, many of the big trucks on the road are hauling cargo and weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds.
Now compare that to the passenger car that you drive every day, which typically weighs between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds. If you do get into an accident with a semi-truck, you are basically colliding with a vehicle 20 times the weight of your own. You can probably guess what the outcome of such a collision would be–the big truck would crush your vehicle easily.
Big Trucks Are More Difficult to Maneuver
The weight and length of a big truck also make such vehicles much harder to control on the road. In your passenger car, you can fairly easily swerve to avoid a sudden obstacle in the road. A semi-truck driver often does not have that luxury. Even the most experienced and alert big truck driver still needs roughly twice the distance to swerve or maneuver versus your passenger car.
Also note that if you try to suddenly stop a semi-truck, the jerking motion can lead to a “jackknife” situation where the cargo trailer skids and moves at an angle towards the cab of the truck. This is how you end up with accidents where the big truck makes a V-shape that creates a serious hazard for other vehicles on the road.
And even when a jackknife situation does not occur, you need to appreciate that it is simply more difficult to stop a big truck once it is moving. Again, such trucks typically require about twice the amount of roadway for stopping distance as does your own passenger car. A semi-truck is also less responsive, so it will not brake as quickly as you might think once the driver hits the pedals.
There Is a Serious Risk of Rollover Accidents
The biggest danger from a semi-truck is not from the vehicle itself, but rather its cargo. Driver error or a sudden collision may lead the trailer–and its cargo–to flip and roll over. Other vehicles and people caught in the trailer’s path can easily be crushed and killed.
Speak with a Rockford, Illinois, Big Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Big truck accidents are a mess to clean up, both in physical and legal terms. A jackknife or rollover accident, in particular, can leave many victims in its wake. If you have been involved in such an accident and need legal representation from a qualified Rockford personal injury lawyer, contact Fisk & Monteleone Ltd. today to schedule a consultation.