A car accident can be a traumatic experience that often involves serious injuries. The chance of a serious injury significantly increases if the accident involves a large commercial vehicle. A semi-truck was recently involved in an accident that disrupted the morning commute for many residents in the Kansas City area.
Semi-truck Hit a Median
According to Action 41 News, the truck accident took place just before 7 a.m. and involved 10 vehicles. Officials report that a semi-truck hit a median, causing minor highway damage. The situation escalated when several vehicles ran into the back of the semi-truck, resulting in a 10-car pile-up.
Only one lane of traffic was open on the accident side of the highway for approximately three hours after the accident. One lane was also closed on the other side of the highway due to the damage caused by the semi-truck.
The entire scene was completely cleared just over four hours later. Although officials could not estimate the exact number of injuries, none appeared to be life-threatening.
Commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks pose a significant risk on the roads. According to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, 98 percent of deaths are occupants of the passenger vehicle in two-vehicle accidents involving both a passenger vehicle and a large commercial vehicle.
Heavy Weight, Large Size and Questionable Industry Standards
The heavy weight and large size of commercial vehicles result in unique dangers on the road. Commercial vehicles carrying too much weight take longer to brake. For example, it is estimated that a truck carrying 100,000 pounds of weight travels 25 percent further after the driver brakes than a truck carrying 80,000 pounds of weight.
Additionally, according to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, large commercial vehicles are more likely to roll over during an accident. They are also more likely to damage highways and bridges even if they are only carrying a small amount of extra weight.
Commercial vehicle sizes are also continuing to grow. The industry standard trailer length of a tractor-trailer was only 40 feet in the 1960s. This length had increased to 48 feet by the 1970s and 53 feet by the 1980s. Today, 57-foot or 59-foot trailers are permissible in some states.
Additionally, there are several standards of the commercial vehicle industry that increase the risk of an accident. Commercial truck drivers are frequently susceptible to driver fatigue caused by taxing driving schedules.
The schedules are implemented by trucking companies and encourage drivers to drive longer hours at a faster speed. These schedules are sometimes required despite the numerous safety risks involved.
Commercial drivers may also receive poor training when learning how to operate a large commercial vehicle, consequently causing incorrect driving techniques and unsafe conditions.
Injuries from an accident involving a large commercial vehicle are usually substantial, resulting in hefty medical bills and lost wages, as well as significant pain and suffering. A driver who suffers injuries in an accident involving a large commercial vehicle could benefit from talking with an experienced personal injury attorney.
A qualified attorney can thoroughly investigate all evidence from the accident and work with medical professionals to determine the long-term consequences of any injuries. An attorney can also protect your rights and help with obtaining all available compensation.