NYC Truck Accident Lawyer Discusses The Deadly Nature of Truck and Car Accidents
At their maximum allowed weight of 80,000 pounds, semi trucks are the behemoths of the road. Unfortunately, this fact isn’t fully appreciated by many of the motorists who share the road with them. The enormous weight of semi trucks increases their stopping distance, and their high center of gravity makes them vulnerable to tipping over. A fully loaded trailer is top-heavy, and the truck driver that doesn’t drive extra slow on curves can tip over explains a New York City truck accident lawyer.
When the trailer is empty, it risks tipping over from strong wind gusts. Without cargo weight to hold it down, the trailer with its large surface area is like a wind sail. The fact that semi trucks consist of two parts, a tractor and a trailer, makes them vulnerable to jackknifing when they brake too hard while swerving, especially on wet or snow-covered pavement. What this means to the motorist is that there are many ways semi trucks can get into an accident. It also means their ability to avoid an accident is limited because they can’t stop like a car and their tendency to jackknife limits their ability to swerve.
While truck accidents are more dangerous because of the heavy loads they carry, the height difference between trucks and cars makes these accidents yet more dangerous. It doesn’t matter much if the semi’s front bumper height above the road exactly matches that of the car’s bumper. In a collision involving speed, a semi can easily end up on top of the car. This is caused by the semi truck’s higher center of gravity (the semi as a whole is higher off the ground). If the car isn’t knocked out of the way, the semi’s high center of gravity will cause it to go up and over the car. This is called an override accident.
The Override Accident
This type of accident commonly occurs when a semi truck rear ends a car. This can happen when the truck tailgates, or fails to stop in time because of driver fatigue or distraction. The most vulnerable people in the car are the occupants of the rear seat. They can be literally crushed by the truck.
Because the truck goes up and over the back of the car, the car’s rear crumple zone isn’t of much help. As the truck goes up, the car is crushed downward at the same time. Sometimes the car driver is at fault when for example, the car pulls out in front of a fast-moving truck without allowing it enough stopping distance.
The Underride Accident
When a car rear ends a semi truck and the trailer’s rear guard fails, the car is wedged under the trailer. The car’s front hood section is sometimes lower than the bottom of the trailer. This causes the windshield and the occupants behind it to impact the lower edge of the trailer. The nature of the fatalities caused by this is horrific.
Underrides also occur when a car collides with the trailer on its side. In this type of collision, there is no guard to slow down or stop the car. As in the override accident, the car’s crumple zone doesn’t help because it is “bypassed.”
If an accident with a truck injured you or a loved one, an experienced tractor-trailer accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. For an assessment of your case, contact us at Frekhtman & Associates.