Recently, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court turned over a lower court’s sentence for a truck driver charged with vehicular manslaughter. The man accused was driving a large commercial truck when he was in an accident that resulted in the death of three people.
While the sentence overturned was a criminal penalty, the news highlights just how dangerous truck accidents are for victims. Although a car crash can also result in three deaths, those involving a commercial truck are much more likely to. So, why are truck accidents so much more dangerous than other traffic accidents? The three main reasons are found below.
Trucks are Heavier than Other Vehicles
Tractor-trailer trucks are approximately 20 times heavier than other vehicles on the road. When commercial trucks are involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle, it is the occupants in the smaller car that are much more likely to sustain more severe injuries than the truck driver.
Due to the fact that trucks are so much heavier than other vehicles, they also take much longer to slow down and come to a complete stop. This can result in a catastrophic crash when truckers tailgate or speed, giving them less distance to stop before they crash into a vehicle. Their heavy weight also results in trucks taking longer to accelerate, which can pose a risk to other motorists when they merge or pull out in front of traffic.
Trucks are Taller than Other Vehicles
Commercial trucks have a very high center of gravity. That makes them more unstable, particularly if the cargo was not loaded properly. Improperly loaded cargo can cause cargo to move and shift during transit, which can throw the entire balance of the truck off. When this is the case, it is almost impossible for the truck driver to control the vehicle.
The high center of gravity on a truck also makes them more susceptible to rollovers due to swerving, taking a corner too quickly, and wind gusts. Rollovers are very serious accidents that put everyone on the road around the truck at risk.
Trucks are Longer than Other Vehicles
Trucks are much longer than other vehicles and while that may not seem like it would pose a danger, it does. The length of a truck results in very large blind spots, known as no-zones, on trucks. Motorists that are in these no-zones are very susceptible to becoming involved in an accident, particularly if the driver does not properly check their blind spots before merging or changing lanes.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Allentown Can Help You Collect Damages
If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash involving a commercial truck, our Allentown auto accident lawyers can advise on your case. At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, our seasoned attorneys have seen the devastation truck accidents cause, and we know how to collect the full damages you are entitled to. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.