Semi-tractor-trailer units, or 18 wheelers, are a common sight on US highways. We’re so used to their hulking presence – and of driving around other large vehicles – that we easily forget how dangerous they can be. Every year, over six million vehicle accidents occur in the United States. Of those six million, 500,000 are caused by or involve semi-trucks.
Why Are Semi Trucks More Dangerous Than Other Vehicles?
Primarily due to their size, semi-trucks are notoriously difficult to maneuver and stop. A typical car might weigh around two tons while a semi-truck can quickly reach 40 tons! Quick movements to adapt to changing road conditions are not exactly their forte when they’re that heavy.
Their weight and size also pose a huge problem for other drivers on the road. When a loss of control does happen, these large vehicles tend to plow through whatever’s in their way – including smaller vehicles. This is why trucking accidents have high rates of serious injury and death. When a death does occur, there is a 97% chance the fatality happens in the passenger vehicle versus the semi-truck.
What Causes Semi-Truck Accidents?
Semi-truck accidents occur for similar reasons that regular auto accidents do. Impaired drivers, high speeds, equipment malfunctions and broken laws lead to lapses in judgment. Just one mistake while pulling so many tons of weight can be difficult to correct without harming others.
The number one reason for truck accidents in Texas is actually due to blind spots. 70% of semi-accidents occur in good weather conditions with healthy and responsible drivers. The size of semi-trucks makes it exceptionally difficult at times to accurately view other vehicles in their side and rearview mirrors. When smaller vehicles make quick movements semi-trucks may not have time to see them coming and collisions become common events.
How Is The Trucking Industry Changing?
Since semi-trucks are very likely to not only be involved in accidents but to also sustain less damage than passenger vehicles do, it is usually more dangerous for smaller vehicles. Semi-trucks also have a high probability of causing physical damage to both you and your vehicle. In these cases, passengers rely on the trucking company of the liable driver to have adequate insurance policies that can compensate for high medical bills or loss of salary.
Before 2020, commercial trucking companies were only required to maintain a $750,000 insurance policy for their drivers. While this may sound like a big number, total vehicle destruction can be very expensive, medical bills for serious injuries add up quickly, and inability to work can mean the loss of thousands of dollars a year.
The House of Representatives voted in mid-2020 to raise the minimum required insurance policy to two million dollars. This primarily helps the victims of commercial trucking accidents receive fair compensation for their injuries and future financial burdens.
Need A Semi-Truck Accident Attorney?
Cesar Ornelas Law Firm has a finger on the pulse of the nation. We keep track of the dangers you face on the roads and know exactly how to fight for your maximum compensation. Contact us to let our team help you through this time by being dependable and dedicated to your case.