Accidents between semi-trucks and smaller vehicles, such as cars, have an unfortunately high fatality rate. If death does not occur as a result of the crash, catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries are probable.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that in 2016, nearly 4,000 individuals died in accidents with large trucks. What factors make these types of accidents so dangerous and possibly deadly?
Truck weight and size
Semi-trucks in the United States can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while a typical passenger vehicle weighs around 4,000 pounds. These large vehicles also take up a lot more space than a car, which can end up causing a lot more damage.
Because of the massive weight of large trucks, they take a lot longer to stop than a normal car. It may surprise you that semis can have double or triple the stopping time as a car. This is why many accidents occur when a car cuts in front of a semi and brakes quickly. The semi may not have enough time or space to stop before running into the back of the car.
Road conditions and the amount of cargo the semi is carrying can change the total time a semi will need to completely stop, so it is important to stay aware of this when sharing the road with these large vehicles.
Accidents between semis and cars are dangerous for everyone involved. In order to keep yourself safe while on the road, you may find it beneficial to give large trucks wide berth.