The skills required to operate a tractor trailer are vastly different than those needed to drive cars, pickup trucks and SUVs. Their size, weight and other factors cause them to be deadly in the event of a crash.
Below are four factors that make truck accident or tractor trailers particularly dangerous:
A tractor trailer can weigh up to 40 times more than a car. The difference in size is so great that a car might only cause negligible damage to the truck if the two vehicles collide. If a truck bumper hits the sheet metal of a car, for example, it could strip the top of car and cause only minimal damage to its bumper.
2. Blind Spots
Tractor trailers have numerous blind spots as a result of their massive height and size. Areas around the cabin and trailer that drivers are unable to see are called “no-zones” and include the left of the cabin and much of the right side as well as the rear of the trailer and over the hood. Tractor trailers also make much wider turns than cars and often need to swing wide to avoid signs and other nearby objects.
Further, a tractor trailer driver sits with his or her head more than eight feet above the ground. The driver’s height makes seeing surrounding vehicles more difficult.
3. Inability to Stop Quickly
Drivers cannot stop quickly in a tractor trailer. In fact, a truck traveling at 65 mph requires the length of about two football fields to come to a complete stop, according to a fact sheet by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
4. Long Hours
Tractor trailer drivers tend to drive many hours in one sitting, which can cause fatigue, decreased reaction time, and a higher risk of crashes. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced new federal regulations that limit the average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours to ensure all truck operators have adequate rest. Still, the current 11-hour daily driving limit can be taxing on some drivers and affect their ability to drive safely.
Contact Our Firm for Assistance
Tractor trailer accidents result in complex legal situations that require the assistance of experienced professionals. Contact our firm for assistance if you or a loved one was injured in a crash involving a tractor trailer. We can investigate your situation and answer your legal questions.