Big truck accidents can be caused from aggression and speed of the truck driver. Although there are other truck wreck causes, according to the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), the most common cause of driver-related factors creating big truck accidents is due to speeding.
Large commercial trucks pose an incredibly high risk for accidents simply due to their large size and weight. Semis with trailers can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Even without a load, a truck and trailer can weigh 35,000 pounds. Additionally, these vehicles are four to five times longer than conventional cars. According to the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), around 1 in 10 highway deaths occur in a crash involving a large truck. When these trucks need to come to an abrupt halt, it is extremely difficult for them to do so. When the truck has trouble stopping, it may hit the car in front of it, lose control, and go off the road or try and even possibly overcorrect. An overcorrection can also lead to loss of the load that the truck is hauling.
What precautions have been put in place to assist in avoiding big truck accidents?
Modern trucks are already designed with equipment and advanced driver assistance systems to help improve safety in many situations. Regulations now require newly registered trucks to fit Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and Lane Departure Warning systems (LDW).
One of the automotive industry’s leading technology suppliers, ZF, has been working on ways to enhance current safety systems further. Their most recent prototype consists of a new Highway Driving Assist system with an Evasive Maneuver Assist function. The truck uses advanced sensors to act as the “eyes” of the system, helping to prevent common driving distance errors such as tailgating and driving off the road. If the driver fails to see an obstacle in the road or realizes too late that traffic is slowing, the Evasive Maneuver Assist has the capability to assist the driver.
Working toward “Target Zero”, the Evasive Maneuver Assist system uses technology created by both ZF and WABCO. Once activated the software can calculate the optimal evasion route, compare the calculated and actual steering path, and adjust the steering angle accordingly. A roll-over function is also integrated in the event of extreme driving situations. This system is another critical step toward enabling autonomous driving in the commercial vehicle industry.
As a normal car driver, what can I do to avoid a wreck with a semi-truck?
• Allow trucks at least four to six car lengths of space in wet conditions and when traveling on the highway
• Always observe a trucks turn signal before passing
• Avoid blind spots by keeping their mirrors in your site
• Be more alert approaching a truck, as they control different than cars
• Do not cut in front of any large vehicle as they require an increased stopping distance
• Do not pass a large truck on the right while it is making a right turn
• Report any unsafe driving to authorities
• When passing a truck; wait until the entire cab is in your rear-view mirror before signaling and pulling in front of it
If you are in a big truck accident, contact a Personal Injury Lawyer as soon as possible. You may be eligible to receive compensation for any property damages as well as medical bills and other damages such as compensation for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent impairment, and lost wages. Thomas Creech is an injury lawyer in Greenville SC who has experience in trucking cases and would welcome the privilege to help you and your family with legal representation. You can reach our office by calling 864-235-4999 or complete our online contact form and we will get back with you.