It seems as though anything can happen when two cars collide. The laws of physics ordinarily determine how the cars are damaged, which drivers will be injured and how long it will take to clear the scene. However, there are laws of physics that often result in different outcomes when it comes to truck accidents with cars. There are also laws of the land that apply to this type of accident that does not apply to non-commercial drivers.
Under-Ride & Side Swiping
Statistically speaking, we all drive distracted at some point in the day. Even if we have committed to leaving our phones on silent or in a bag or briefcase, we will likely take our eyes off of the road at some point while we are driving to change the radio station, look at our GPS, talk to a passenger, or glance out of one of our mirrors. If you are following a truck too closely, you may end up under-riding the back end of a tractor-trailer. This happens when the front of your car goes under the back of the trailer on a truck. This type of accident is particularly dangerous because of the injuries that can happen to the driver and front seat passenger.
Since trucks are much larger than traditional cars, and typically carry longer loads, there are more often blind spots where cyclists, pedestrians, and cars cannot be seen. As a result, when trucks switch lanes, unexpected swerve or pull to the side of the road, they are endangering anything in their path. These accidents and the injuries that result are often catastrophic. Side guards can prevent crush accidents and injuries when a truck moves to the side, but they are not required in many places in the US.
Truck Driver Laws & Reasonable Care
Not only do you need a specialized license to drive a commercial truck, but many states in the US also require additional training before you can legally operate a tractor-trailer. From there, laws are on the books about the type of load you can tow, how large it is, how many hours you must take off in a day, and the type of insurance you must carry.
Commercial truck drivers also have a responsibility to exercise something called “reasonable care” when they drive. We all have a responsibility to drive without distraction while obeying the laws of the road. Truck drivers carry the additional responsibility to operate their vehicles with reasonable care for not only themselves but for others on the road that may be injured as a result of their negligence. It is this reasonable care that is often violated when there is a truck accident with a car.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer, call the truck accident lawyers at The Elan Law Firm to discuss your case. You may be entitled to reimbursement for medical care as well as additional money for the pain and suffering you have experienced. Contact us for a free consultation.