Most people instinctively know that 18 wheelers are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Still, they might not understand precisely why that is. Additionally, very few understand what you can do to avoid these trucks and how you should proceed if you ever get into an accident with one. We explain these issues below.
Why 18 Wheelers are so Dangerous
The following factors are the most critical reasons why 18 wheelers are so dangerous:
- Size – The first aspect is sheer size. Semi trucks are massive vehicles, and as a result, take up a lot of space on the road. One way in which they do so is filling up entire lanes, which puts you at risk of being sideswiped. Another way size plays a role is when trucks change directions. Their breadth forces them to take wide turns, which consistently puts drivers at risk.
- Weight – The simple science of car accidents is that speed plus load is equal to damage. This means that small cars hitting each other in a parking lot will yield almost no risk to health. On the other end of the spectrum is 18 wheelers, which often weigh about 20 times more than conventional cars. That kind of difference leads to severe danger.
- Cargo – One thing that might happen when you are near one of these trucks is their cargo falling out. This will place debris on the road in front of you and force you to take evasive action. Doing so can lead to a collision with the cargo or another driver.
- Tired Drivers – An unavoidable part of being a transport professional is driving while fatigued. These workers frequently operate their truck for more than 12 hours in a day and occasionally drive through the night. The result is often a driver with slower reaction time and worse judgment than a well-rested person. These factors combine to create danger for anyone that drives near 18 wheelers.
What You Can Do to Avoid Them
An unfortunate fact of driving is that you cannot control other drivers. What you can do is tailor your behaviour to staying as safe as possible. The following are a few ways you can stay safe when in the presence of an 18 wheeler:
- Stay out of their blind spots.
- Always check your blind spots.
- Try to create space between you and them, whether that is in front, far behind, or being at least two lanes to the side.
- Never trail an 18 wheeler for too long.
Legal Complications For Auto Accidents
Two legal complications come with auto accidents that involve 18 wheelers. The first is the amount of damage. As we explained above, a vehicle being large and heavy is going to make your accident with it much more severe. This will heighten your chances of damage to your health and property, which increases the complexity of your future case. The second issue with 18 wheelers is that they are almost always backed by a large corporation. This situation differs from conventional accidents because you will likely bring your lawsuit against a company, rather than a person.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Though lawsuits are always best guided by an attorney, this is especially true in the case of an 18 wheeler accident. The reasons relate to the complications we explained in the previous section. First, high damage means high stakes, which makes the difference between an okay deal and an excellent one significant. Your best shot at a favourable package is hiring an experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Houston. The second reason is the fact that you will likely fight against a company, not a person. Businesses usually have extensive, high-priced legal teams to defend against lawsuits, so you’ll want a professional at your side to increase your chances.
The best case scenario is that you use avoidance methods to never get into an accident with an 18 wheeler. Still, even the best drivers suffer collisions due to bad luck. If this happens to you, your next move will be finding the right lawyer to fight on your behalf.