Semi-trucks are large, powerful vehicles. Given their size and power, it’s no surprise that they are capable of inflicting serious damage. Therefore, when a semi-truck collides with a smaller vehicle, the smaller vehicle’s occupants often suffer catastrophic injuries. A catastrophic injury is an injury that has serious, life-altering consequences. Catastrophic injuries usually require surgical treatment, and their consequences often persist for many years—if not permanently. Common catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and paralysis. In this article, we discuss 3 reasons that semi-truck crashes often result in catastrophic injuries.
Smaller Vehicles Aren’t Designed to Withstand Commercial Crashes
Although motor vehicle manufacturers conduct vigorous safety tests on each new vehicle they design, there isn’t much they can do to protect smaller vehicles against semi-trucks.
Unfortunately, the size and power of semi-trucks can render many safety features useless. This is especially true in underride collisions, which are crashes in which passenger vehicles become stuck underneath commercial vehicles.
Semi-Trucks Often Travel at High Rates of Speed
Although semi-trucks sometimes have to go off the beaten path to make deliveries, the most efficient method of travel for these vehicles are the roads with the highest speed limits. This means that truck drivers spend most of their time on interstates and highways. Unfortunately, however, this also means that semi-trucks are often traveling at high rates of speed when they collide with smaller vehicles. When a semi-truck traveling at a high rate of speed strikes a smaller vehicle, the risk of catastrophic injuries is high.
Semi-Trucks Have Large Blind Spots
Given the size of semi-trucks, even with mirrors, truck drivers simply can’t see all the vehicles around them. In other words, semi-trucks have large blind spots, and this places other drivers at risk. When a vehicle pulls into a semi-truck’s blind spot as the truck is merging or turning, the odds of an accident involving catastrophic injuries greatly increase.
The Bottom Line
In addition to the above reasons, difficult maneuvering, wide turns, and longer stopping distances all contribute to the risk that a semi-truck will strike a smaller vehicle and cause catastrophic injuries. However, by understanding and proactively avoiding the risk factors that contribute to semi-truck crashes, it is possible to greatly reduce the risk of being involved in a crash involving a semi-truck.
Contact a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury in West Virginia, you need a knowledgeable and experienced West Virginia personal injury attorney on your side. At Hewitt & Salvatore, our experienced personal injury attorneys will work diligently to ensure that you obtain the financial compensation you deserve for your catastrophic injury. When you choose us to represent you in your catastrophic injury lawsuit, we’ll treat your case as our top priority. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation.