Truck accidents are more likely than passenger cars to cause serious injuries or fatalities. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates 70 percent of the people who die in these truck crashes are occupants of other vehicles, rather than the truck. Truck drivers need to be aware of the special risks they present to others on the road and must exercise reasonable caution in preventing collisions.
There are many potential explanations for why truck crashes are so much more serious and for why permanent injury or death is more likely to occur. The added risk of truck crashes may be explained by the fact that:
- Transport trucks tend to outweigh passenger vehicles by 20 – 30 times. This means the force of the impact from the crash is much greater. More force absorbed by the body means more serious injury.
- Depending upon load, braking capacity on trucks can be 20% to 40% greater than that of passenger vehicles. Trucks can’t slow down or stop as fast, so cars are hit at higher speeds- which further increases force.
- The height of transport vehicles increase the chances of overriding passenger cars. Cars can slide underneath trucks, with the undercarriage intruding on vehicle passenger compartments.
- Trucks are top heavy and more prone to rolling over than most other vehicle types.
Regardless of why truck crashes are so dangerous, the fact that truck crashes cause serious injuries means that victims need to ensure they get appropriate legal help from a trucking accident attorney so they can be fully compensated for loss.