Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants. The main problem is the vulnerability of people traveling in smaller vehicles. Trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles under-riding trucks in crashes.
Truck braking capability can be a factor in truck crashes. Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop, and the discrepancy is greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes.
Truck driver fatigue is a known crash risk. Under federal hours-of-service regulations, drivers of large trucks are allowed to be behind the wheel for as long as 11 hours at a stretch. Surveys indicate that many drivers violate the regulations and work longer than permitted. Electronic logging devices, which have been required since 2017, should help with compliance.
Truck braking capability can be a factor in crashes. Compared with passenger vehicles, stopping distances for trucks are much longer, particularly on wet and slippery roads or if the brake systems are poorly maintained. Large trucks also are prone to rolling over. A requirement for electronic stability control took effect for most new truck tractors in 2017 and is expected to reduce crashes.
RODIE & CONNOLLY, P.C. has been involved in many truck accident cases. Please contact us if you feel a case exists and whether it is warranted.