Motor vehicle accidents caused by commercial truck drivers often turn out to very different from car accidents for many different reasons. Why are truck accidents so different and what are the challenges that injury victims and their families often face?
What factors make truck accidents different?
Motor vehicle collisions caused by commercial truck drivers are different from car accidents for a multitude of reasons, including:
- The weight of the vehicles. Commercial trucks often weigh significantly more than passenger vehicles. A fully loaded tractor trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds – far more than most cars, which often only weigh 4,000 pounds. As a result, the force of a truck crashing into a smaller vehicle can be devastating.
- The size of the vehicles. Large commercial trucks like tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers can be more than 50-80 feet long. As a result, large trucks can be difficult to maneuver or turn, especially around sharp corners or on icy roads. Large trucks also often cause multi-vehicle accidents, since they come into contact with several other vehicles during an accident.
- Multiple parties involved. Unlike car accidents, trucks accidents often involve several additional parties in addition to the truck driver and the driver of the other vehicle. Many truck drivers work for trucking companies, but that’s just the start. The company that loaded the truck may be partly to blame for the crash. So may the company that made the products on the truck, and each one might require a different legal approach.
- The contents of the truck. Large trucks often contain thousands of pounds of cargo. If that cargo shifts, it can cause the truck to roll over and crash into other vehicles. When that happens, serious collisions often occur.
- The time they take to stop. Because tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks are so big and weigh so much, they often need much more time to stop to avoid a collision. As a result, large trucks often cause serious crashes because they cannot stop in time.
Hire an experienced attorney if you were injured in a truck crash
These are just a few of the differences between car accidents and truck accidents. The Alabama truck accident attorneys at Shuttlesworth Law Firm LLC are familiar with the differences and know how to thoroughly investigate both types of collisions.
One of the major differences between car and truck accidents is that different laws often apply to accidents caused by truck drivers. Specifically, there are many federal laws which only apply to truck drivers, including:
- Commercial truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Texting while driving is against the law for all commercial truck drivers nationwide.
- Commercial truck drivers must take mandatory breaks, according to federal law.
- Commercial truck drivers must keep a log of their driving time and location, under federal law.