By Dan Noll on May 13th, 2022 in
How Are Semi-Truck Accidents Different from Car Crashes? If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident you may find yourself severely injured. You may also be wondering, “How are semi-truck accidents different from car crashes?” Will your future health and finances be affected by your semi-truck crash? How will you know who is liable for the accident? It can feel as though you are navigating unfamiliar territory. It may be helpful to speak to a personal injury attorney from Noll Law Office about the next steps. The lawyers at the Noll Law Office will be your advocate at a time when you desperately need someone in your corner. Having someone who truly cares about the outcome can make a real difference.
There are a number of ways that semi-truck accidents are different from a car crash between two passenger vehicles. When a 3,000- pound passenger vehicle collides with an 80,000-pound fully loaded semi-truck, severe, even catastrophic injuries are incredibly likely. Unsurprisingly, fatalities are also much more common in truck accidents.
Semi-truck accidents are also different from car crashes because there can be more than one defendant. While a “typical” two-car accident can result in serious injuries, one driver is usually responsible for the accident. The driver may have been distracted, overly tired, impaired, careless, or reckless. In some cases, a defective car part, or an improperly designed roadway could cause an accident, but usually one of the drivers is at fault. Multiple defendants are not only possible, but even probable following a truck accident.
The truck driver could be at fault for the accident. He or she could have been distracted—talking on his or her phone, eating, or changing GPS or truck controls. The truck driver could have been impaired by alcohol or drugs. He or she could have been overly fatigued or drowsy or could have been driving recklessly. But the trucking company could also be partially responsible for the semi-truck accident. Did the trucking company fail to perform a comprehensive background check or ensure the driver is fully trained? Was the vehicle up to code? What if the trucking company knowingly forced faster delivery times, causing a driver to exceed allowable hours, and be overly fatigued on the road.
If shifting or falling cargo caused the accident, the loading company may also be responsible. If poor maintenance—particularly in the truck’s tires or brakes—caused the accident, the maintenance company may be liable. Further, if a defective truck part was responsible for the semi-truck accident, the manufacturer could be liable. This is why it’s incredibly important to have an experienced truck accident attorney in your corner to help you determine liability following your accident.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in Springfield?
Distracted driving has quickly moved up the list of causes of commercial truck accidents. Like all drivers, semi-truck drivers talk on their phones, text, eat entire meals, attempt to set their GPS devices, or talk to passengers while behind the wheel. Because truck drivers drive such long hours, fatigued or drowsy driving is increasingly common. It can be just as dangerous as impaired driving in terms of slowed reaction times and judgment.
The truck driver may have failed to adjust his or her driving to road and weather conditions or the truck driver may have been exceeding the speed limit or otherwise driving recklessly. It could come down to the simple fact that he or she may not be fully trained and able to handle the unexpected.
Unsafe lane changes or driving too close to another vehicle can frequently cause semi-truck accidents, particularly if a driver has to suddenly apply the truck’s brakes. Stopping distance, while also dependent on the driver’s reaction time, is much less than for a passenger vehicle because there’s significantly less weight to stop. According to freightviking.com, at 55 mph, it can take an empty semi-truck about 230 feet to come to a full stop—about four seconds. A car traveling the same speed can stop in 174 feet, or about 3 seconds. A fully loaded commercial truck driving 65 mph has a stopping distance of about 525 feet – which is why significant damage can occur on highways.
How Can Noll Law Office Help?
The attorneys at the Noll Law Office strongly believe in aggressive advocacy. Strategic counsel is provided to their clients throughout every step of the process. When you hire the Noll Law Office, you will work with an experienced trucking accident attorney from start to finish. They believe that strong client communication is the key to successful outcomes. As fifth-generation Springfield attorneys, they seek positive outcomes for their community and their neighbors. They take pride in their deep community roots. Your goals are their goals when you hire Noll Law Office. Contact Noll Law Office today.