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Why are truck accidents so dangerous for occupants of cars?


Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Aug 20, 2014 in Truck Accidents

It is fairly well known that truck accidents involving smaller cars are often disastrous for the occupants of the much smaller vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2012, 67 percent of the people who died in accidents involving large trucks were occupants of cars or other vehicles.  Many may not be aware of specifics as to why that is the case however. Information provided by the IIHS sheds some light on the matter. 

According to the institute, the issue has to do with the design and weight of trucks. The height of trucks and the accompanying higher ground clearance make it easy for small cars to underride the larger vehicle when they collide. In addition, the fact that car weigh 20-30 times less than most trucks means that when they are hit less of the impact is absorbed by the car.

The best way to reduce the number of number of people who die in truck accidents is of course to reduce the number of accidents that occur. This in turn requires understanding why they happen in the first place. Two factors that contribute to them occurring are drivers who are tired and issues with the vehicle’s brakes.

Though the individuals who drive large trucks are subject to federal hours-of-service regulations, some drivers ignore those regulations and drive anyway. The fatigue that can accompany driving more than 77 hours a week or 11 hours at one time might lead to a truck accident occurring.

The failure to properly maintain a vehicle can also lead to crashes. While brakes that are poorly maintained may not cause a big problem under normal circumstances, if roads are slippery or a tractor-trailer is fully loaded, it can take much longer for a truck to stop.

Most would agree that even one death due to a collision with a truck is too many. When a life is unnecessarily loss it can be difficult for those left behind to face. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be a good way to ease that difficulty.