Last week we discussed the stopping distances needed for a semi-truck to come to a stop and how they can come into play in a truck accident. Unfortunately, the distance needed for a big rig to stop is significant, meaning that other motorists might be put at risk of harm. Making matters worse, these distances can be drastically longer depending on several factors, such as a trucker's lack of attention, intoxication, or a truck's poor maintenance.
Our last blog post discussed stopping distances for vehicles such as cars and SUVs. Though those statistics regarding stopping distances might be surprising, what is even more surprising is how those numbers increase when one looks at semi-trucks. While a car may only be 12 to 18 feet long and weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, a big rig might be as long as 65 feet and weight up to 80,000 pounds. This massive increase in size leads to much longer stopping distances.
Most Tennesseans at least see a semi-truck every day if they do not drive next to them. These massive vehicles play an important role in our society, yet they also pose a significant threat, as the extreme weight of these trucks compared to other vehicles on the road is astounding. What could otherwise be a relatively minor accident between two cars can turn into a devastating, fatal truck crash when a big rig is involved. Therefore, it is imperative that truck drivers are properly qualified before hitting the road, helping ensure that all of Tennessee's motorists are safe.
This blog often discusses truck accidents and the serious harm that can be caused to unsuspecting motorists. These victims can suffer extensive physical injuries, traumatizing emotional turmoil and significant financial loss. In fact, about 5,000 individuals are killed and nearly 150,000 more are injured by these wrecks. While these facts are certainly worth talking about, it is also important to discuss why preventable truck crashes happen and what can be done to stop them.
Tennessee has several Interstates and highways that help connect the country and keep economic activity vibrant. Though these roads are a benefit to our state, they can also be extremely treacherous for motorists. One way these roads are made dangerous is by the presence of semi-trucks. When involved in an accident, these massive vehicles can cause extensive damage and can leave unsuspecting victims seriously injured or dead. So how can Tennesseans avoid truck accidents? Hopefully this post will help answer that question.
Knoxville residents have likely heard about the horrific truck accident that left comedian Tracy Morgan and two others seriously injured and another comedian dead. The incident occurred when traffic slowed, including Morgan's limo bus, but a truck driver failed to stop in time. The tractor-trailer, which had swerved to avoid the traffic, slammed into the limo. Reports indicate the truck driver had not slept in more than 24 hours leading up to the crash. He now faces multiple criminal charges related to the accident.
Most of Knoxville's residents know the important role trucks play in our economy. They carry massive amounts of good from warehouses to stores, carry personal belongings when individuals move, and help homebuilders obtain their supplies. However, despite the good these trucks do, they still pose a threat to motorists on the road, particularly when a truck driver in inattentive or otherwise negligent behind the wheel. When a driver acts in this fashion, the sheer size of his or her rig can cause catastrophic damage, severe injuries, and even death.
The massive size of 18-wheelers makes them dangerous. A slight slipup that may be easily correctable in a car may be disastrous in a big rig. And because of their immense weight, an accident involving a semi-truck and be devastating, not only destroying a victim's vehicle, but also causing serious physical harm to the victim him or herself.
Driving a semi-truck can be difficult and dangerous. Because of the hazards posed by these massive vehicles, their drivers must go through driving school and obtain a special license. Though one would think this additional training would make these drivers safe, that is not always the case. Truckers can drive while fatigued, speed, fail to stop when necessary and neglect to check their blind spots. Such negligence can cause serious injuries to Tennessee's motorists.
Semi-trucks play an important part in our economy. They haul groceries, electronics and construction goods across the country. Despite their importance, these massive vehicles pose dangers to others when not driven safely. With little to protect them from the size of these vehicles, those who are hit by a truck can be seriously injured or killed.