Even confident drivers may feel a pang of anxiety when they find themselves traveling next to an 18-wheeler. This is for good reason: If an accident happens, a truck can do far more damage than an ordinary passenger vehicle. Additionally, in some situations, a semi can be more likely to cause a crash in the first place.
Because trucks carry far more weight than other types of vehicles, any resulting impact will be far stronger. What could have been just a fender bender with a smaller vehicle can turn into a serious crash.
Risk of underride
A large truck's structure can also contribute to the damage it causes. A semi that stops abruptly runs the risk of having the car behind it slide underneath it. Most trucks today have rear underride guards to prevent this; however, they may not protect a car coming from the side.
Many commercial trucks carry cargo that can present hazards of its own. The heavy, bulky items that typically travel on a flatbed can cause serious injuries if they come loose. Some substances may be flammable, explosive or toxic, substantially increasing the damage in the event of spillage during a collision.
Increased risk of accident
A truck's size and weight make it harder to maneuver, especially in wet or icy weather. While many commercial drivers have the experience to know how to drive safely even under difficult conditions, factors such as pressure to make deadlines and lack of proper rest can diminish alertness and lead to dangerous situations.
What happens afterward
If you suffer serious injuries stemming from a truck accident, you likely face several complicated medical and legal issues. While some types of injuries are obvious, others, such as TBI, can take longer to surface. On the legal front, it can be difficult to immediately identify all the parties who may bear legal responsibility.
Seek medical attention promptly and keep a watchful eye out for emerging symptoms. Remain consistent with coming to appointments and following your physician's instructions. Speaking with an attorney sooner rather than later can shed light on your legal options and begin the process in a timely manner.