A fully loaded large truck carries hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel and carries almost forty tons of cargo. Even experienced and fit operators have a hard time controlling such massive vehicles, especially at freeway speeds. When a large truck causes a crash, the results are often catastrophic.
Common injuries in these wrecks, such as serious burns and head injuries, are usually permanent. For example, most burn injuries never fully heal. Some scarring or loss of function normally remains.
Because of these serious injuries, a Rock Hill personal injury lawyer can usually obtain substantial compensation for accident victims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Overall, excessive velocity causes about a third of the fatal car crashes in South Carolina. Given the massive size of a large truck, as mentioned above, speeding is especially dangerous in this context.
Velocity multiplies stopping distance. At 30mph, most large trucks travel about three truck lengths before drivers can safely stop them. At 60mph, the stopping distance multiplies to eighteen truck lengths. If drivers slam on their brakes to stop faster, their rigs often jackknife.
Speed also multiplies the force in a collision between two objects, according to a basic law of physics. Since large trucks already pack such a wallop, it’s hard to imagine what a speeding truck can do to a passenger car.
As mentioned, large trucks are quite unstable. Experienced operators know that these vehicles cannot turn quickly or take a corner sharply. But inexperienced operators might not have experienced these things firsthand. So, they might not fully understand the danger.
Drowsy driving is a serious problem among long-haul truckers. Because they sit for such long periods, many of these individuals are pre-disposed to sleeping problems, such as sleep apnea. Even if the driver is perfectly healthy, driving after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .05 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for commercial drivers in South Carolina.
Circadian rhythm fatigue could be an issue too. Most people are naturally drowsy early in the morning, around noon, and late at night. Most long-haul truckers are behind the wheel at these times.
Operator negligence causes most truck accidents. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Rock Hill, contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm. You have a limited amount of time to act.
Why do truckers drive when they’re drowsy?
Most truckers get paid by the load, so they must stay behind the wheel as long as possible.
How much does a semi-truck weigh?
A fully loaded large truck weighs at least 80,000 pounds. Regulators often grant waivers that allow heavier vehicles on the road.
Why do trucks often blow up when they crash?
Diesel fuel burns at a different temperature than gasoline, and many trucks carry this fuel in external tanks.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.