Bigger Trucks, Bigger Crashes: Trucking Accidents And Severe Injuries
Large trucks put passengers at risk for serious injuries in the event of a crash.
Transporting goods throughout the country is a big business. Those who operate in this business are looking for ways to cut the bottom line, ways to make more money. One option is to load current trucks with as much freight as possible, which results in heavy loads. There are various laws and regulations in place that help to better ensure that truckers do not transport too much in one vehicle. These laws are currently evolving.
Heavy freight and trucks: The laws are changing
States are considering laws that allow commercial trucks to transport heavier loads. The most recent example is present in Texas. Texas recently passed a law that allows these vehicles to transport up to 100,000 pounds of freight. In order to receive approval for these heavy loads, the trucking company must apply for a special license. The licensing fees paid by the company are then split between federal and local governments, intended to help fund highway repairs.
There are many critics of this new law, scheduled to go into effect in 2018. These critics have voiced apprehensions regarding increased wear and tear on the nation’s roadways and safety concerns. A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway (IIHS) Loss Data Institute supports safety concerns. The organization’s research found that when a crash involves a large vehicle and a small one, those who are in the small one are more likely to suffer injuries than those in the larger vehicle.
Safety concerns with large trucks: The laws of physics
The mass of vehicles plays a large role in the potential for severe injuries in a crash. One key factor that influences the severity of a crash is the velocity of the vehicle. This is a physics term which is influenced by the size of the vehicle – essentially, the larger the size, the larger the velocity, the bigger the crash. A second factor is the size of the vehicle. More specifically, the data found injuries were reduced if there was more vehicle present between the passenger and the point of impact.
The IIHS concludes its findings rather mildly, noting that when a large vehicle and a small vehicle collide, “the people in the smaller, lighter vehicle will be at a disadvantage.”
Legal remedies after a trucking accident: Various options available
Those who were injured in a trucking accident may have legal recourse. Depending on the details of the trucking accident, there are likely various parties that may have some level of responsibility for the accident. The driver may be accountable if he or she was operating the vehicle negligently, the company itself may have liability if it did not properly screen drivers or the manufacturer may have some culpability if the cargo itself played a role in the crash.
Navigating through this process and putting together a successful case takes time, dedication and experience. An attorney can help. An experienced truck accident lawyer can review the details of your trucking accident and tailor a case against the driver, company, manufacturer or any other culpability party, better ensuring you receive the legal remedies you are entitled.