The Dangers of 18-Wheelers
As our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green know, there are a lot of dangerous drivers on the road. But as we also know, there are a lot of dangerous vehicles on the road, too. While you can’t control how other drivers operate their cars, you can be on the lookout for dangerous types of cars. Keeping your distance from them can decrease your chances of an accident. Continue to read to learn more about The Dangers of 18-Wheelers.
One of the most dangerous types of vehicles on the road is, not surprisingly, the 18-wheeler. Also known as semi-trailer trucks, these massive vehicles, used primarily for transporting goods and packages in bulk, crisscross throughout the country at all hours of the day (and night). In this blog post, we are going to break down some of the most dangerous aspects of the 18-wheeler.
The most noticeable aspect of an 18-wheeler truck is its sheer size. As you might imagine, it’s heavy, too. The average 18-wheeler moving goods across the country weighs about 80,000 pounds, as our personal injury lawyers understand. Federal law requires that 18-wheeler trucks not exceed 80,000 pounds—you see weigh stations on the sides of highways here and there so that truckers can ensure that they are not violating the weight limit. But companies make sure that they are not too far below the weight limit to ensure that they aren’t wasting money by having more trucks on the road than they need to.
- At 80,000 pounds, an 18-wheeler probably weighs over 75,000 pounds more than your car (the average car/SUV weighs between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds).
- When an 80,000-pound vehicle crashes into a vehicle weighing between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds, it doesn’t take a physicist to realize that the lighter car is going to feel the biggest impact.
- The enormous weight of 18-wheelers makes stopping them a very difficult endeavor. Whereas a normal SUV takes about 300 feet to go from normal highway speeds to a complete stop, it can take an 18-wheeler twice that (the length of two football fields) to come to a halt. That means, as our personal injury lawyers know, that if you’re traveling directly in front of an 18-wheeler, and you have to slam on the breaks, the 18-wheeler might slam into you from behind simply because they do not have enough stopping room.
18-wheelers are long. The average 18-wheeler truck is about 70-80 feet long, but this can vary greatly. If a cab is carrying two trailers instead of one, that length is much longer.
- Compare this to your car. A Ford Explorer, for example, is about 16.5 feet long. A Honda Civic, meanwhile, is 15 feet long. That means that even if you’re in a larger SUV like an Explorer, the average 18-wheeler is roughly 5 times longer that your car.
- This extreme length disparity, as our personal injury lawyers know, makes the 18-wheelers difficult to pass. Whereas you might be able to pass a swerving sedan quite easily, it would probably take you 5 times longer to pass an 18-wheeler.
- Furthermore, 18-wheelers are large obstacles on the road. Not only does it take a long time to pass them, but it is hard to see around them to potentially avoid other road hazards.
Truckers work long hours. Companies provide incentives to truck drivers by tying increased pay to the quickness with which they can transport goods from Point A to Point B. This has the adverse effect of encouraging drivers to keep going, even if they are tried. Fatigued truck drivers make the already-dangerous 18-wheelers even more perilous.
Our Delray Beach personal injury lawyers at Aronberg, Aronberg & Green have experience with how tragic car crashes involving 18-wheelers can be. Our firm recently handled the case of a family whose car was hit from behind by an 18-wheeler late at night, resulting in the death of a young girl.
Please be careful when traveling near an 18-wheeler on the road. Try to avoid driving right in front of them or directly next to them, as being in such places can increase your chances of falling victim to the vehicle’s dangers.