It is an unfortunate outcome of many a highway wreck involving a large commercial motor vehicle, but occupants of passenger cars that are involved in collisions with big rigs — have a fairly good chance of being hurt or seriously injures during a bad multi-vehicle pileup. The issue in many of these cases is that the simple factor of mass, or weight, for those non-scientific among us, can make the difference between life and death. Size is certainly a factor here, but all things being equal, the two are interrelated.
For anyone who has not been involved in, or been witness to a severe car-truck traffic accident the statistics kept of such events tend to bear this out; that time and again, injuries from trucking-related collisions, especially those involving smaller and more lightweight passenger vehicles, can typically result in much more serious and often fatal bodily injury. These can include, but are in no way limited to traumatic brain damage, spinal cord injuries, broken bones and compound fractures, and other sometimes permanently disabling injuries.
It is because larger and heavier 18-wheelers and other commercial motor vehicles are so common on our highways and city streets that these kinds of accidents occur at fairly frequent rates. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, the legal professionals at my firm understand very well that any traffic accident involving a semi, large box truck or heavy commercial equipment can easily turn into a life-threatening event for the individuals involved.
Every year, all around the country, hundreds of commercial trucks, such as Peterbilts, Freightliners and Kenworths, to name a few, are involved in accidents that cause death or serious injury. Especially when traveling at interstate speeds, a commercial truck wreck can be devastating to any passenger car that happens to get in its way. The same can be said for occupants of airport shuttles and even school buses, many of which do not have seatbelts, or whose passengers choose not to avail themselves of these basic safety devices.
Why do these kinds of accidents take so many lives each year and maim thousands of others nationwide? As we mentioned previously, it’s simply a matter of weight. Cars, light trucks and motorcycles caught in a traffic accident with a large delivery truck or over-the-road semi can easily be crushed beyond recognition, resulting in serious to critical injuries for many of the occupants of these smaller motor vehicles.
The volume of commercial traffic on Maryland public thoroughfares will always play a large role in the number and frequency of traffic accidents, injuries and highway deaths. And don’t forget those busy urban areas, such as Annapolis, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., which have their fair share of serious wrecks as well. The roadways leading to and from large interstates, not to mention those areas nearby industrial parks and commercial centers can also be high in truck traffic.
We take this opportunity to remind readers that the weight (or mass) disparity between small passenger cars and large commercial vehicles is usually significant. These more massive semi tractor-trailers, box trucks and other heavy motor vehicles can easily surpass that of the average passenger vehicle — consider, if you will, that a fully loaded 18-wheel big rig can have a gross weight of close to 80,000lbs. There is no comparison between a large truck like this and even a large 6,000-pound sport utility vehicle.
So, be aware of the vulnerabilities of your small passenger car when traveling nearby a larger commercial truck. The potential dangers and negative outcome of a crash involving a car and semi tractor-trailer is not worth risking one’s life or the lives of one’s family or friends. Drive safe and arrive alive; that’s a good motto for anyone to adopt these days.