Tractor trailer accidents are some of the most deadly motor vehicle accidents that happen every year. Even when people do not die in these accidents, they are still disproportionately likely to suffer severe injuries, including long-term health difficulties that can impair their ability to work or perform daily tasks. But what is it that makes tractor trailer accidents so deadly?
- Tractor trailers are big and heavy
- Tractor trailers are very big and very heavy, compared to other vehicles on the road. This seemingly obvious observation is important, however, because it means that a tractor trailer will hit other vehicles much harder than the other vehicles hit them. This makes it more likely that other vehicles involved in tractor trailer accidents will suffer catastrophic damage, with similar effects on any passengers unfortunate enough to be inside.
- Tractor trailers have trouble maneuvering or slowing down
- Their massive size and weight is not just an issue for the impact of the accident, however. These enormous vehicles turn in ponderous, wide arcs, and take significantly longer to slow down compared to other vehicles. This can make it much harder for them to turn to avoid hazards on the road, or to slow down to avoid crashing into a vehicle in front that has suddenly stopped, leading to an accident.
- Tractor trailers have poor visibility
- Another common issue in tractor trailer accidents is their poor visibility, especially with vehicles immediately behind them. While they often have mirrors on the sides of their vehicles to see anyone to the side, these mirrors are not perfect and leave them with blind spots. Their substantial blind spots make it easy for vehicles to get close to them without them realizing it, making it more likely for them to accidentally collide when changing lanes or braking.
- Tractor trailer drivers are more likely to be exhausted
- Tractor trailers are usually driven by professional drivers who go for long hours on the road. Their long driving times and strict schedules often mean they go without sufficient sleep, meaning they are driving while exhausted. This slows down their reaction time and increases the likelihood of falling asleep behind the wheel, making tractor trailer accidents more likely.
- Tractor trailer accidents are more likely to involve multiple vehicles
- Finally, there is the fact that when tractor trailers get into accidents, they are more likely to involve multiple vehicles. Due to their size, weight and inertia tractor trailers take longer times and distances to come to a stop. When they are involved in a crash with a smaller vehicle, tractor trailers often continue to move and crash into other vehicles on the road. When they finally come to rest tractor trailers can obstruct multiple lanes of traffic resulting in chain-reaction collisions with other vehicles on the highway causing serious injuries and death.
- Tractor trailer owners and operators must comply with strict safety rules and regulations
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) sets forth strict safety rules and regulations that must be followed by every registered motor carrier in the United States. These rules exist to protect the public from unsafe and unscrupulous tractor trailer companies, owners and drivers. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a tractor trailer owner or operator, call Fox Law Firm for a free consultation.
Fox Law Firm, PLLC is a New York personal injury law practice serving clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. With over three decades of law practice experience, attorney Kevin Fox has helped clients in personal injury cases obtain the compensation they deserve. For more information or to ask for a consultation, call our Riverhead office at 631-779-3400 or visit our contact page.