If you imagine the sheer size and weight of a big rig, you can understand why these vehicles are so dangerous while they're on the road. A non-commercial vehicle doesn't stand a chance when struck by a big rig. It will be crushed in a heartbeat and the victims inside the car will likely suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Technological advances have come a long way to make semitrucks safer, but they haven't come that far. At the end of the day, there is the size and weight disparity of these massive vehicles to passenger cars and light trucks with which they share the road.
3 semitruck safety misunderstandings
Unless you work in the transportation industry, chances are good that you give little thought to truck safety. Consider the following widely-held misconceptions:
- Semitrucks are dramatically safer than they were in the past. It's true that since the late 1990s, regulators and truck manufacturers have been incorporating new safety features into these massive vehicles to make them safer and prevent accidents. However, the number of people who die in semitruck accidents has actually stayed about the same since this time.
- Truck driver sleep schedules help keep them alert and less distracted. Truck driver sleep schedules and rest-time mandates certainly make a lot of sense. A sleep- deprived driver is a very serious danger on the road, and drowsy driving causes many accidents every year. The problem is that even when you require someone to stop and pull his or her truck over on the side of the road for a set period every day or week, it doesn't guarantee that the truck driver is actually going to be able to sleep. It's hard to fall — and stay — asleep in a truck, leaving many semitruck drivers deprived of rest regardless of how hard they try to get some shuteye.
- Vehicle drivers cause most semitruck crashes. The main factor that seems to dictate who is at fault in a semitruck crash relates to how the crash happened. In 80 percent of rear-end crashes involving a semi, the passenger car driver was at fault. In 98 percent of backup crashes, the truck driver was at fault. In the end, researchers have found truck drivers to be at fault 50 percent of the time.
Were you hurt by a semitruck?
Regardless how your semitruck accident happened, you may have the legal right to receive financial compensation. Make sure you fully understand your options under the law before you dismiss the viability of your potential lawsuit.