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.
Commercial vehicles pose a significant threat to Tennessee's motorists. A trucker may be suffering from fatigue, be intoxicated, or be inattentive behind the wheel. While these are certainly very dangerous circumstances, semi-trucks can also pose a risk if they have been improperly maintained, failed an inspection, or are being driven without being inspected. In any of these cases, a truck crash can cause serious injuries, leaving victims facing harsh physical, emotional, and financial burdens.
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.
Oftentimes when someone is killed in an accident because of another driver's negligence, the family wants justice in the form of a criminal conviction. This was the case in Tennessee recently when the family of two people killed in a truck accident sought to have criminal charges pressed against the truck driver.
Semi-trucks play a vital role in our economy by quickly moving goods across the region or the country. Yet, these massive vehicles, when improperly driven, can pose a serious threat to other motorists, including those in Tennessee. A speeding truck, one that fails to stop or yield, or one that swerves into oncoming traffic can cause a deadly tractor-trailer crash.
A semi-truck that hits a smaller car can send that vehicle out of control, causing serious damage and severe injuries. Sadly, one of these accidents occurred recently on a Tennessee Interstate. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, after midnight a car was rear-ended by a vehicle travelling behind it, causing the car to spin off the road, strike a culvert, and roll. The driver of the car was taken to the hospital with injuries while the passenger in the vehicle was killed. The driver of the at-fault vehicle, which police suspect was a semi-truck, did not stop. The THP continues its investigation and is looking for the hit-and-run vehicle.