Many of our country's shipments are made using large trucks and tractor trailers, and often, drivers of these large vehicles are working long, demanding hours on the road to deliver and transport products across the country. In Pennsylvania and almost every other state, the highways and roads provide direct access for truckers, but this access also opens the door to truck accidents and collisions with other drivers traveling the same roadways.
A truck accident can be devastating, even more so than a car collision, simply because trucks are bigger, harder to stop and often filled with heavy cargo - all of which makes them much more dangerous when they are up against a small vehicle. Truck accidents are a leading cause of death for hundreds of American drivers and many more are injured every year.
Stopping Distance and Negligence
Stopping distance is a huge factor in truck accidents. Because trucks are bigger and heavier, they need more time and more distance in order to come to a complete stop. Pumping the brakes only does so much; a large truck traveling at highway speed cannot easily slow down to avoid obstacles like a stopped car, an animal or debris on the road.
Truck drivers may attempt to swerve or turn the truck around the obstacle, but even this requires significant room because bigger vehicles don't have the turning abilities of small cars.
If a truck driver fails to leave enough room between himself or herself and another vehicle to allow for a safe stopping distance, or if he or she is driving too quickly to stop safely in the event of an unexpected obstacle or change in driving conditions, this could lead to a negligence-related truck accident claim if another party is injured as a result. A truck following too closely to the car in front of it could easily rear-end that vehicle and leave the driver and passengers hurt.
Truck Accidents Lead to Serious Injuries
When a car collides with a truck, the sheer size and mass of the larger vehicle can cause serious injuries and damage to the smaller car. In most cases, the car's driver and passengers fare worse than the truck driver because the small vehicle has less protection to shield itself from impact. For this reason, many truck accident injuries are severe, and can lead to future health and medical complications. These injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
Spinal cord injuries
Paraplegia or quadriplegia
Loss of limbs, vision, or hearing
Soft tissue injuries
Following a truck accident, if a driver or passenger of the other vehicle has sustained any of these injuries or suffered other damages, he or she may be entitled to restitution in a truck accident claim.
In Pennsylvania, you can file a truck accident claim with the help of a personal injury or accident attorney. This claim can help an injured victim pay for medical expenses and hospital costs, as well as provide restitution for pain and suffering.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you should contact a State College truck accident attorney at Rehmeyer & Allat today for a free, no-strings consultation.