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Truck Accident Dynamics

There are many differences between driving a regular automobile versus operating a large tractor trailer. The dynamics and logistics of a truck are such that a tractor trailer:

  • Speeds up slower than a car
  • Requires greater distance and time to come to a complete stop
  • Requires more space to turn and otherwise maneuver
  • Has more blind spots making it especially hazardous to move in reverse

Many truck drivers have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and the CDL manual is often helpful to understand the ins and outs of driving a large truck as well as the duties and responsibilities of a truck driver.

Main Differences Between Car and Truck Accidents

One of the main differences between cars and trucks is the sheer mass and weight of a loaded truck which can be up to 80,000 pounds while an average passenger car weighs only 4,000 pounds. Therefore the force of a heavy truck at a high speed impact will produce a much greater injury to the occupants of the passenger vehicle. In addition to the mass and weight of a truck, there are other important differences including:

  • Trucks have many axles and wheels
  • Trucks have very different braking systems when compared to cars. Many trucks use air brakes for example.
  • Trucks are taller than automobiles meaning their center of gravity is different. A passenger vehicle can ride under a truck which is a type of trucking crash known as an underride accident.
  • Tractor trailer accidents are sometimes caused due to issues with their cargo or loads they are carrying including improperly securing the cargo, having the cargo shift during transport, or a load that is not properly balanced.
  • Tractor trailers have a joint between the tractor and the trailer cab which means the trailer can pivot which is what happens in a jack-knife accident.
  • There are differences in acceleration, braking, turning, and overall vehicle control, maneuverability, and operation between trucks and cars.

Contact the F&A truck accident lawyers for a more detailed consultation.