Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Why Are Semi-Trucks vs Passenger Cars Accidents So Serious?
Semi truck accidents with passenger vehicles are some of the most serious and deadly accidents that occur on our roadways today.
When heavy trucks collide with passenger cars, the occupants of these much smaller vehicles are at an exceptionally high risk of serious injury or even death due to the physics and dynamics of the event.
The serious nature of these crashes emphasize the importance of you drive safely around tractor trailers, know what you can do to prevent them, and contacting an experienced truck accident lawyer if you are involved in an accident with a semi truck.
Startling Statistics On Semi Truck vs Passenger Car Accidents
According to a report published by TxDOT, in 2017 there were 35,635 crashes in Texas involving commercial vehicles, most of which were tractor trailers on the highway, that resulted in 1,220 serious injuries, 601 fatalities, and thousands of other injuries of varying degrees of severity.1
The IIHS reports that overall, there were more than 4,000 fatalities in accidents involving large trucks throughout the country and 68% of those fatalities were occupants of passenger vehicles.2
Serious Semi Truck Accidents - It’s A Matter of Physics
The above statistics should easily illustrate the major disadvantage that passenger vehicles have when involved in a crash with a semi truck.
Law firms that concentrate on helping clients who have been in car accidents with semi trucks report that it is the vast differences in the two vehicles that make these incidents so significant and leave so many passenger vehicle occupants seriously or fatally injured.
An examination of the physics and dynamics of these events can explain the severity of semi truck versus passenger car accidents:
- Vehicle Size - Size difference is probably the most obvious difference between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles. Semi trucks are more than 20 times larger than the average car, putting any car at a distinct disadvantage in an accident.
- Vehicle Weight - Most passenger vehicles weigh an average of 4,000 to 5,000 lbs. or more. Semi trucks typically weigh around 35,000 lbs. unloaded and up to 80,000 lbs. fully loaded.
- Momentum and Force - The laws of physics state that an object that is heavier and has more forward momentum has proportionately more force when acting against a smaller object. In terms of truck crashes, it means a fully loaded truck traveling at highway speeds has exponentially more force when it hits a passenger car than would the passenger car.
- Vehicle Construction - Even though there have been many advancements in the construction of passenger cars and their included safety features; these smaller vehicles cannot withstand the extreme force of being hit at high speed by a semi truck.
Semi Truck vs Passenger Car Crashes Among the Deadliest
Crashes between semi trucks and passenger cars are exceptionally deadly because of the extreme differences in these vehicles and how the dynamics in accident events affect them both.
Passenger cars have a large disadvantage in these crashes because of their smaller size and weight as well as how momentum and force work against them.
If you have been seriously injured in a crash involving your car and a tractor trailer, seek the assistance of a semi truck accident lawyer who can help you receive appropriate compensation for the serious nature of your injuries!
1Texas Department of Transportation, Commercial Motor Vehicle Involved Crashes and Injuries by County,2017
2Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, Fatality Statistics: Fatality Facts 2017 Large Trucks, December 2018