Even though all types of auto accident are dangerous and have the potential to cause life-altering injuries, truck accidents are nearly, if not always catastrophic or fatal. Unfortunately, they’re becoming quite common. According to the Truck Safety Coalition, about 5,000 people died in truck crashes last year, marking a 46% increase in truck crash deaths since 2009. Understanding how truck and car accidents differ is the key to improving road safety for every road user.
Truck Accidents vs. Car Accidents: The Differences
Discussed herein are reasons why truck accidents tend to be more devastating than car accidents:
Trucks are larger and heavier than Regular Vehicles
The average car weighs between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds. Even the biggest SUV is usually about 5,000 pounds. Trucks on the other hand are much larger. An axle truck weighs 34,000 pounds on its own. Add in a trailer and cargo, and its weight can push up to 80,000 pounds.
This extreme size and weight difference between a truck and a regular vehicle means that even a minor collision between the two ends up in devastating results.
Unfortunately, the regular car often bears the brunt of the impact. What would be a minor fender-bender between two ordinary cars may leave the passenger car completely wrecked, and its parties severely injured when involved in a crash with a truck.
Jackknife and Runaway Accidents
With regular passenger cars, there’s absolutely no risk of jackknife or runaway trucks. However, when it comes to trucks, even if the driver is being careful and following all the relevant road rules, there’s always a chance the trailer might jackknife due to coupling malfunctions or its weight.
The result? Any oncoming car will crash into it, and the results may be catastrophic if not fatal. Besides jackknifing, the coupling may come apart, resulting in a runaway trailer. The results are even more tragic since the trailer has no control, and will crash through pretty much anything that’s on its path.
Truck accidents are generally devastating than regular accidents because of their size and weight alone. However, they become even more severe due to the cargo they carry. A truck may not collide with a regular car, but if it rolls over, it may spill heavy cargo onto nearby vehicles.
What’s more, the cargo may be flammable or toxic which further increases the risk of fatalities since a spill may cause an explosion, fire, or exposure at the accident scene.
Although passenger to passenger car accidents are no better, such risks are often not much of a concern.
Why Hire an Attorney If Involved in a Truck Accident
Truck accident claims are different from regular vehicle accident claims because the risks is often high and the injuries tend to be more severe. However, other than that, when it comes to a truck accident, you’ll be dealing with more than just the driver. When passenger to passenger car crashes occur, you’ll only deal with the other driver. But when you’re involved in a truck accident, the following parties are often liable:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- The loading company
- Truck or spare part manufacturer
- The freight brokers
- The mechanics and truck service providers
In other words, truck accidents are more complex to navigate. Therefore, it is advisable that you get yourself a truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Remember, most if not all, trucking companies, truck manufacturers, freight brokers, or any other parties mentioned above usually employ the best possible commercial insurers. It’s only sensible you do the same. Get in touch with our team today to schedule a free consultation.