Why Are Truck Accidents So Serious?

After seeing a news report about a trucking accident, you may be shocked to see how much damage can be inflicted in these collisions, even at low speeds. It is not just your perception that truck crashes are more serious than other types of motor vehicle wrecks; evidence supports this idea as well. 

The National Safety Council reports that although commercial trucks make up only about five percent of registered vehicles, they represent nearly ten percent of all vehicles present in fatality accidents.

There are at least three reasons why you can expect a truck accident to result in more severe injuries than a vehicle accident. These reasons are:

Large Trucks Have Greater Mass Than Passenger Vehicles

The first reason why truck accidents can be so severe is a matter of physics. A large commercial vehicle weighs more and is larger than a car, SUV, or pickup truck. A vehicle that weighs more has more energy to transfer when it collides with another object. 

The greater the mass of the truck, the more damage you and your loved ones could sustain in a wreck. For example, a fully loaded tractor-trailer combo will cause even greater injuries traveling at 30 miles per hour than a cab or box truck traveling at the same speed.

Commercial Trucks’ Bumpers Sit Higher Than Passenger Cars

Second, regulations require the bumpers of commercial trucks to be a certain height, which is often higher than the bumpers of passenger vehicles. When a large truck collides with another vehicle, the first part of the truck to collide with your vehicle would be the bumper. 

Rather than hitting your bumper and transferring energy to that part of your vehicle, the truck’s bumper could hit near the passenger compartment.

Thus, the part of your car designed to absorb the impact of a crash may not be directly engaged in the event of an impact. Instead, the area where you and your loved ones are seated will absorb more force, which increases the risk of serious injury.

Greater Risk of Driving Under Trailers

Finally, the height of commercial vehicles can also mean a greater risk of driving under the rear bumper or side of a trailer in the event of a collision. Your vehicle can become pinned and crushed under a truck’s trailer, which in turn can lead to severe or fatal injuries. 

While a truck and trailer’s bumper height is supposed to help reduce the chance of this happening, it is a risk that cannot be completely eliminated.

Truck Accidents Are Complicated Matters

Not only can truck accidents result in more severe injuries than other types of motor vehicle accidents, but getting compensated after they happen is more complicated as well. 

Before you can settle your case, you need to understand how severely you have been hurt, something that can take additional time. There may be other barriers to recovering compensation. As a result, you should seek out help from an experienced Missouri truck accident lawyer when a negligent truck driver hurts you.