Understanding the Physics of Trucking Accidents
A loaded 18 wheel semi-truck may weigh tens of thousands of pounds. In comparison, an average car or SUV may weigh somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds. This extra weight of a semi-truck will have important accident ramifications:
- A loaded semi-truck will take significantly longer distance and more time to stop than a much smaller car or SUV; often hundreds of feet more to stop. As a result, even when the brakes are applied, a semi-truck will likely be traveling at a speed much faster than a car at the time of impact, assuming that the brakes of the truck and the car were applied at the same time.
- The force of an 18 wheeler on a non-commercial vehicle will be significantly more than another commercial vehicle. Because of physics (force = mass x acceleration), the much heavier 18 wheeler will impact a car with significantly more force than another car traveling at the same speed. As a result, the car will also absorb substantially more damage.
- Higher damage, tragically, often means more severe injuries and a greater likelihood of death.
There Are Many Unique Aspects to Trucking Accident Cases
18 Wheelers consist of large trailers attached to a cab. In many instances, a secondary trailer may be attached to the main trailer. Additional trailers can require even higher levels of safety, as there may be tendencies for the trailers to “jackknife” in certain conditions.