Sharing the roadway with commercial trucks can feel risky. All it takes is one wrong move, and suddenly a deadly accident could result. 18-wheelers and large trucks tend to cause more damage compared to other types of vehicles, simply due to their size and weight. The chances of suffering severe injuries are higher compared to collisions that involve two standard passenger vehicles. These hefty trucks may be hauling thousands of pounds of hazardous materials, which could impact people and the natural environment if released. Here, we have discussed further why truck accidents tend to be more dangerous than others.
The main reasons why trucks are more dangerous is because of their immense size. In fact, big rigs can weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds, or more if they have special permits. Standard passenger vehicles weigh between 3,000-4,000 pounds, so you can imagine why disaster occurs when commercial trucks are involved. As a truck accident lawyer explains, trucks weigh around twenty times more than smaller vehicles, so damage to the latter is likely to be substantial. If the driver and occupants of the smaller car survive the impact, they may still have to deal with life-altering injuries and disabilities.
Commercial trucks often carry thousands of pounds of material or hazardous substances. In an accident, this cargo or material could spill out into the roadway, affecting other cars and obstructing traffic. In the worst situations, fallen cargo can hit other cars and cause a multi-vehicle crash. Hazardous material that gets leaked onto the road could pose harm to both people and the environment, such as by causing fires, chemical spills, explosions, or releasing toxic fumes. Examples of toxic chemicals a truck may be carrying include permanganates, nitrates, chlorates, inorganic peroxides, and more. These materials can be toxic if touched, inhaled, or fumes are released.
Another factor in truck accidents is the possibility of poor truck maintenance. The trucking company and its workers have to perform routine checks on every truck. If they fail to do so, and an accident happens because of it, they could be found liable. In addition to maintenance, trucking companies must ensure that truck drivers are fully trained and experienced. As our friends at Cohen & Cohen can attest, truckers have to abide by federal regulations that govern how many hours they can drive within a certain timeframe and when rest breaks are required.
While commercial trucks are important for transporting the materials, chemicals, and produce we need to sustain our society, they can pose a serious risk for others on the road. If a collision happens, dangerous chemicals could spill and harm people, animals, and the natural environment. The trucking company, truck driver, and part manufacturer could share liability depending on the factors of the crash. Those who have suffered in a truck accident may turn to a legal team so that they can receive fair compensation for their injuries, property damage, and financial loss. Trucking companies must ensure that their trucks are in good working order and that truckers are well-trained.