Semi-trucks play an important role in our society in that they can quickly move goods from place to place, keeping costs relatively low for consumers. Although these vehicles and their drivers can provide a benefit to Americans, they can also pose a serious risk. A negligently driven semi-truck can place other motorists at risk of being involved in a sever truck accident that can leave a victim with serious or even fatal injuries.
One reason truck accidents occur is because these massive vehicles need a significantly greater distance and amount of time to safely come to a stop when compared to a passenger vehicle. A car, which may weigh up to 4,000 pounds, can safely stop within about 100 yards when traveling at 65 miles per hour. A semi-truck, though, which can weigh 80,000 pounds, will need 525 feet to come to a safe stop when traveling at 65 miles per hour. This is more than 200 feet longer than a passenger vehicle needs.
There are other factors that can lengthen the amount of time and the distance needed for a truck to come to a safe stop. The trucker's reaction time and speed can be pivotal, as well as road conditions. When a trucker is distracted, intoxicated or fatigued, he or she may be unable to initiate the stopping sequence in time to avoid a serious accident. When it can be shown that a trucker's negligence caused such a crash, then compensation may be available to the victim via a personal injury lawsuit.
Proving negligence isn't always easy, though. For example, if an accident occurred during inclement weather, then a trucker may try to blame slick roads for the wreck. However, even in those driving conditions, a motorist owes others a certain duty of care. By obtaining the assistance of a qualified attorney, victims can work to present evidence showing how that duty was breached.