Commercial trucks and semi tractor-trailer, such as Freightliners and Peterbuilts pose a significant threat on our highways and byways. As Maryland trucking accident attorneys and injury lawyers, our firm understands the seriousness of a traffic accident caused by negligent operation of over-the-road haulers, or big rigs. Motorists and passengers riding in relatively small passenger cars and minivans have a slim chance of escaping injury when hit by one of these heavy trucks.
Even in busy downtown areas, truck accidents can happen with little or no warning. Motorcycle riders and bicyclists, pedestrians and other commuters can all be injured or killed by a poorly driven delivery vehicle or other commercial motor carrier. The amount of local commerce can be an indicator of the potential frequency of trucking accidents in a particular area.
In Baltimore and other busy metropolitan centers, motorists must use extreme caution in and around industrial areas where truck traffic is usually the highest. These huge vehicles and their trailers can weigh a total of 80,000 pounds, the rough equivalent of 30 economy cars. Even large sport utility vehicles (SUVs) or light-duty pickup trucks are no match for a fully-laden tractor-trailer rig. In a crash, a fully-loaded semi can literally accordion a smaller passenger vehicle, injuring or killing the occupants.
Being a Maryland injury attorney, I have seen the aftermath of these kids of heavy truck-passenger car accidents. I know how every year hundreds of individuals are cars caught up in traffic accidents involving big rigs — some wrecks are fatal to the occupants of these passenger cars. This is one of the sad and sobering facts of trucking accidents.
Statistics show that injuries resulting from truck accidents can be much more serious than car-to-car crashes. Common injuries include spinal cord damage, brain trauma, broken bones and other serious and permanent bodily harm.
One last unfortunate fact that comes up time and time again; many trucking-related accidents can be avoided. While many trucking companies take the time and effort to ensure that their trucks and drivers are safe, still others do not. An overloaded trailer is one of the most frequent causes of truck wrecks.
A semi’s braking system should always be maintained in tip-top shape. However, when the brake system is neglected, a heavily-loaded trailer may overwhelm the brakes at a critical moment, causing the driver to slam into a smaller passenger car and possible kill the other driver and passengers.
Although most truck drivers are conscientious individuals who observe truck and traffic safety laws, many either choose not to or simply ignore them altogether. Exceeding the speed limit, overloading their vehicle, or driving beyond the legal number of on-road hours can all lead to a tragic accident.
What ever the reason for a crash, the results are unpredictable and often deadly. My suggestion is to give large trucks extra room on the road and always drive defensively. It could save your life, or the life of someone you love.