Padilla Law Group, LLP

Increased stopping distances can lead to truck accidents

If you've ever been surrounded by semi-trucks while driving on the highway, then you know just how daunting they can be. Many motorists find this experience nerve-wracking, and for good reason. These massive vehicles, when driven improperly, can cause a truck accident that leaves victims with serious injuries. Recovering from these injuries can take a lot of time and money, and, in some instances, permanent disabilities.

Of course, there are many ways that truck accidents can occur. Oftentimes, they happen when truckers are unable to safely bring their rigs to a stop. This is because semi-trucks need additional time and space to stop their vehicle when compared to a regular passenger vehicle. To illustrate, an average car may be up to 18 feet in length and weigh up to 4,000 pounds, whereas a semi-truck may be 53 feet in length and weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. This means that an average motor vehicle traveling at 65 miles per hour will need 316 feet to come to a stop, whereas an average semi-truck will need 525 feet. That's nearly the length of a football field.

And there are many factors that can increase the distance and time needed for a truck to stop. Inattentiveness, intoxication, and fatigue can all cause a lag in response time, which can thereby put other motorist's in harm's way. Even truckers who are perfectly alert can create a dangerous situation when they fail to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them.

So, what does this mean for truck accident victims? It means that they need to carefully analyze the facts of their accident to see if they have enough evidence to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. If successful on one of these claims, a victim may be able to recover compensation for his or her damages, which can include medical expenses and lost wages. Additionally, a winning case can serve to punish negligent truckers, as well as the companies for which they work, and shine a light on an ever-pressing issue.

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