Most drivers in Ohio have likely experienced the feeling of a larger semi truck passing by them on the interstate. Driving near one of these huge vehicles can be understandably unnerving, especially considering that these trucks can weigh up to 30 times the weight of smaller passenger vehicles. Partly due to the sheer size and weight of tractor-trailers, car accidents involving these large trucks rarely turn out well.
Large trucks take significantly longer to come to a full stop. This is especially true for fully loaded trucks that are transporting goods. Unfortunately, as drivers spend long hours on the road, fatigue combined with a long distance for braking can lead to disaster. While truck drivers already spend a significant amount of time behind the wheel — limited to 11 hours according to federal regulations — it is hardly uncommon for drivers to spend additional time behind the wheel, leaving them overtired and a threat to others on the road.
There is also the threat of a smaller vehicle becoming lodged underneath a semi truck during a wreck. Trucks do have safeguards in place to prevent this, which are called underride guards, but tests have demonstrated that these guards are not as useful as they should be. Even in wrecks with low-speed impacts, many guards failed, allowing smaller vehicles to slide underneath trucks.
With this information in mind, in may not come as a surprise to learn that fatalities from car accidents involving tractor-trailers are usually occupants of smaller passenger vehicles and not those who are in the truck. The family members of a victim may struggle to come to terms with their loved one’s death and with the financial and emotional damage that often comes with it. While there is nothing that could ever truly replace a loved one, some Ohio families find that successfully litigating a wrongful death claim can be a positive way to seek both justice and rightful compensation.
Source: iihs.org, “Large Trucks“, Accessed on Jan. 20, 2015