Why Are Commercial Trucks More Dangerous?

Posted by: Dec 14, 2020Sabbeth Law Blog

Commercial truck accidents are terrifying, and they are also much more dangerous. If a truck and a passenger car collide, the risk of severe injury to the occupants of the passenger car is great. At the law office of Sabbeth Law, our experienced commercial truck accident attorneys know how devastating these accidents are and how desperately you need support after a crash. Consider the following about why commercial trucks are so much more dangerous, and call our law firm directly for a free consultation if you’ve been injured in a crash

Size and Weight of Trucks

The first reason that large trucks are so much more dangerous than passenger cars is simply that they are so much larger. To be sure, a large truck can weigh up to 20 times more than the average passenger car – up to 80,000 pounds. This is an important consideration because force in an accident is dependent upon two factors: velocity (speed) and mass (weight). As the amount of mass involved in a crash increases, so too does the force. This means that when a passenger car and a commercial truck collide–as compared to two passenger cars–the amount of force involved is significantly greater (assuming vehicles are traveling at the same speed in both crash types). The greater the amount of force involved in a crash, the more severe the damages that result. 

Experience of Drivers

Another reason why commercial trucks may be more dangerous is because their drivers have a unique experience that is distinct from the experiences of most drivers of passenger cars. For example, drivers may be tasked with driving long hours, sleeping in their trucks, going multiple days without seeing friends and family (which can be emotional and distracting), eating on the go, and meeting strict deadlines set by trucking companies. All of these factors, and others, may contribute to dangerous truck driver behavior, including distracted driving, fatigued driving, impaired driving and the use of substances to stay awake, breach of hours of service requirements, speeding, and more. 

Blind Spots & Stopping Distances

Another risk that is associated with the size of trucks is that these vehicles are inherently more dangerous because trucks have large blind spots and require a greater distance to stop. As such, a truck driver may not be able to see vehicles that are directly behind or in front of their rig, or to either side of the truck. What’s more, if a truck needs to stop suddenly because a vehicle cuts them off or there is a hazard in the road, they may be unable to do so – the weight of large trucks means that these vehicles require a much greater distance to come to a complete stop as compared to passenger cars traveling at the same speed. Drivers of smaller vehicles often fail to remember that truck drivers cannot see them when they are in a truck’s blind spots, which can contribute to devastating accidents. 

Commercial Trucks Are More Dangerous; Commercial Truck Claims Are More Complicated

Not only are large commercial trucks more dangerous than passenger cars, but commercial truck claims are more complicated, too. Reasons that commercial truck accident claim are so complex include:

  • There is very specific law and regulations that go far beyond that governing ordinary passenger vehicle operation.  At Sabbeth Law, we are intimately familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, compliance, and the countless variable regulations they include.  Knowledge of fleet management and industry standards has allowed us to win cases that at first glance appear unwinnable.  Moreover, in any case–even when fault is clear–it is critical to know all of this information as it is absolutely integral to building the strongest possible case and making sure all material evidence, no matter how well hidden, is discovered.
  • The damages are often severe. The damages suffered by any occupants of the smaller vehicle involved are likely to be significant. Unfortunately, the primary aim of an insurance company is to reduce the amount of money it has to pay out in a claim. When damages are severe, the company may fight even hard to reduce its liability and financial burden.
  • Liability may be unclear. Another reason why these claims are complex is that fault is often disputed and liability isn’t always obvious. Potentially at-fault parties in a truck accident claim might include the truck driver, a trucking company, a loader of cargo, a third-party vehicle (part) manufacturer, or another third party. Liability may be disputed and difficult to prove. 
  • Trucking companies have powerful attorneys working for them. Note that in contrast to an at-fault driver of a passenger car against whom a claim is being filed, trucking companies and their insurers have powerful attorneys on their side who are working to protect the trucking company’s interests. 

Call Our Truck Accident Attorneys Today

At Sabbeth Law, we focus on truck accident claims and have recovered seven- and eight-figure settlements on our clients’ behalf. We are part of the Association of Truck Accident Lawyers, the AAJ Trucking Litigation Group, and have recently been selected to the National Trial Lawyers Top Truck Accident Lawyers. We know what you’re going through and will work hard for you, and always bring in the best experts. Call us today for your free consultation.