Why Are Truck Accidents So Severe?

According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, Highway Safety Office, 2,083 people were injured or killed in severe truck accidents in 2015. Out of that tragic number, 100 of them lost their lives due to a crash that involved a large truck. There is a reason that truck accidents are so deadly – any physics expert can explain why.

Laws of Physics

If you load down a tractor trailer to full capacity, it can weigh a total of 80,000 pounds. To give you an idea of contrast, passenger vehicles typically weigh less than 4,000 pounds. This difference in weight, combined with the force of a collision, is more than a small passenger vehicle can withstand. That is why, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 97 percent of deaths that occur in large truck accidents are the occupants of the passenger vehicles. Sadly, most truck accidents end in either death or serious personal injury

Visibility & Decreasing Speed

With truck drivers situated in high positions in truck cabs, it is more difficult for them to see obstacles in the road and passenger cars than it is for drivers in regular passenger cars. For example, tractor trailer trucks have several wide blind spots that entire passenger cars can fit inside, which prevent truck drivers from being able to see other vehicles. Poor visibility is one of the leading causes of severe truck accidents.

Additionally, truck drivers are unable to decrease the speed of their truck quickly. The size and weight of large trucks requires drivers to stop 20 to 40 percent earlier than a passenger car driver would need to apply the brakes. Because of this issue, when a truck accident occurs, the truck is often moving at a higher speed than the smaller vehicle is moving. The higher speed of the truck added to the higher weight equals severe truck accidents with catastrophic results.

Jackknifing and Rollovers   

Two unique ways that severe truck accidents occur is when they jackknife or rollover. The higher center of gravity of tractor trailer trucks can cause the truck to roll over if the truck driver makes any sudden moves. In the case of jackknifing, the weight in the back of a truck is pulled by the front of the truck. If a truck driver tries to steer in the load in an awkward direction, the trailer of the truck could travel in a different direction of the front of the truck, leading to it doing what is called “jackknifing.”

For An Experienced Oklahoma City Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Oklahoma, you should contact an Oklahoma severe truck accidents lawyer to discuss your case. The Owens Law Office, PC offers a free consultation to potential clients. Call us today at 405-608-0708.

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