Truck Weight, Length, and Maneuverability Spell Disaster for You and Your Family
The U.S. Department of Transportation classifies trucks according to their weight (GVWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). There are eight separate classifications ranging from sedans and vans to buses and semis. Any vehicle that weighs over 10,000 pounds is classified as a “large truck.” The large truck categories make up Class 3 through Class 8 vehicles.
An empty semi truck can easily weigh over 30,000 pounds and topple 80,000 when fully loaded. To place this into perspective, an average sedan is Class 1 and weighs between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds, dwarfing it when placed by a semi. A standard pickup truck (Class 2) weighs approximately 6,000 pounds and can hold a maximum of 4,000 pounds of cargo, again making it relatively small compared to a large truck.
So, why should you care how much trucks weigh? Simple physics. Collisions involving large trucks are uniquely dangerous to smaller vehicles and their passengers.
Large Truck Risks
Semi trucks can be notoriously hard to maneuver in emergency situations. They can weigh tons and haul two-40 foot containers. This weight and awkward length can be tricky to control and easy to misjudge, making it extremely hard for truckers to brake suddenly or swerve to avoid objects.
As a result of the driving difficulties, truck drivers are responsible for:
- Over 411,000 truck collisions a year.
- Approximately 4,000 deaths and 100,000 injuries annually.
- Ten percent of highway deaths.
- Eight percent of all vehicles involved in fatal accidents.
These accidents, injuries, and fatalities are the direct result of truck drivers losing control of their massive rigs and colliding, tipping, swerving, or driving over, into, or onto smaller vehicles. When an accident like this occurs, the passengers in the smaller vehicle can sustain catastrophic injuries that will change their lives forever.
Driving Your Claim With Proper Guidance and Resources
Fortunately, if you’re the victim of a negligent truck driver or precarious rig, you may be eligible to seek compensation from not only the driver but also his employer and the truck manufacturer. However, filing a personal injury claim can be confusing if you’re not 100% familiar with Texas law. Therefore, to ensure a strong claim—and to have hope for your future—the smartest thing to do after an accident is to seek professional counsel from an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer.
For more information on truck safety and personal injury law, feel free to browse our extensive collection of blog articles, FAQs, and other resources on our website. Here’s one to get you started, “Uneven Loads Can Cause Truck Accidents.” For a more thorough discussion about your particular accident, schedule a FREE consultation with local truck accident attorney Steve Lee. With over 25 years experience, our team can help address all of your concerns and questions to ensure your claim is as strong as possible.
Don’t allow a truck driver to crush your future—call us today.