When you are driving down the road next to a tractor-trailer, we know the thoughts that may be going through your mind – stay well away from the truck and please do not let anything go wrong with the vehicle.
We have all had similar thoughts when riding next to a big truck. But what happens if something does go wrong due to truck failure or truck driver negligence?
Tractor-trailers are also known as semi-trailers or “semis,” and they perform valuable services for our economy. You often see these trucks performing the following:
- Delivering goods to stores (hard goods, produce, etc.)
- Transferring livestock
- Transporting vehicles from a factory to a dealership
- Hauling trees recently cut down
There are over 3.5 million truck drivers in the US and just as many tractor-trailers on the roadways. Sometimes these trucks are owned by individual owner-operators. Other times, they are owned by large fleets.
Unfortunately, sometimes accidents occur that involve tractor-trailers. For the latest reporting year in Pennsylvania, there were 6,807 total crashes involving heavy trucks, many of which were tractor-trailer accidents.
These trucks have the ability to cause severe injuries to many people on the roadway in a single accident. That is because they are so large and, when carrying a load, can weigh hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Why They Happen
The majority of heavy truck accidents occur due to vehicle failure. Often, this is related to:
- Tires and wheels
- Braking system
- Power train failure
- An unsecured load
- Overloaded trailer
- Suspension system
Trucking companies are responsible for regular maintenance and inspections of their vehicles to ensure that they are roadworthy. If they skip maintenance, the trucks could fail while moving at a high rate of speed, causing the drivers to lose control.
Drivers should all obtain their commercial driver’s licenses and train on every vehicle they are asked to operate. There is little room for operator error when on the roadways.
Under no circumstances should drivers operate their vehicles while impaired by drugs or alcohol. This significantly slows their reaction time and increases the chance of reckless driving. They should also never be distracted by their phones or other devices.
What You Can Do
If you or a loved one have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident and it was caused by someone else’s negligence, we want to help. The SMT Legal has a team standing by, ready to investigate your case so we can secure the compensation you need for all of your accident-related expenses. We do not think that you or your family should suffer financially because of someone else’s mistakes.