There are multiple differences between a commercial freight truck and a standard passenger vehicle that make a crash involving the former far more dangerous. The most blatant differences are their weight and size, but there are many additional factors, each one contributing to the likelihood and severity of a collision in its own way.
The Virginia truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp are familiar with the dynamics involved in a Virginia truck accident and can work with you in establishing liability and pursuing compensation for your injuries and other related losses.
How Do a Truck’s Dynamics Contribute To The Danger Of an Accident?
The enormous weight of a truck is the primary factor in how much damage is caused in a collision. The more an object weighs, the more force is behind the impact when it strikes something. It’s the difference between smashing through a wall with a regular hammer or a sledgehammer. When a truck crashes into a smaller vehicle, the degree of force and, by extension, the resulting damage, is that much greater.
The difference in size between a car and a truck is also a contributing factor to the overall damage. In a crash involving two vehicles of similar size, the bumpers are somewhat aligned. In a crash scenario involving a commercial truck, that won’t be the case. In fact, the immense size difference may also negate any of the smaller vehicle’s other safety features. This dynamic is especially hazardous if the smaller vehicle crashes into the back or side of the truck, causing it to slide underneath the trailer in a phenomenon known as underriding. Underride injuries are typically catastrophic and very often lethal.
Which Dynamics Contribute To The Probability Of A Virginia Truck Accident?
Both weight and size contribute to the probability of an accident by making trucks more difficult to control. There are, however, many additional factors that truck operators must deal with, like the vehicle’s center of gravity, various freight considerations, and the coupling between the cab and the trailer.
Center of Gravity
Commercial trucks sit much higher than passenger vehicles. This means their center of gravity is also higher. Vehicles with a high center of gravity are much more susceptible to rollovers. The danger of a vehicle rollover increases on windy roads, in inclement weather, and at high speeds.
The dynamics relating to the way freight is loaded onto the trailer and how it shifts during transport can also contribute to a Virginia truck accident. Some typical problems include:
- Unbalanced freight due to excess weight in one specific area
- Freight repositioning while in transit; especially problematic for liquids and hazardous materials
- Overloaded trailers carrying too much freight
Passenger vehicles are comprised of a solid metal frame. Commercial trucks are two separate but connected objects. The coupling between the cab and the trailer is another potential complication when it comes to the collision dynamics of a truck accident. One of the most common problems presented by this dynamic is jackknife accidents. This is where the trailer portion of the truck swings to one side or the other and is no longer aligned with the cab. Not only does jackknifing make the truck almost impossible to control, but it can also cause an accident that spans several lanes of traffic.
Contacting A Truck Accident Injury Lawyer
Reaching out to an experienced legal team that has decades of experience working with the crash dynamics of a truck accident can make a world of difference in successfully resolving your case. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our Virginia truck accident lawyers will use their extensive knowledge to investigate your crash and prove the liability of the trucking company or driver. If you were injured in a collision involving a commercial truck, contact our law offices right away by calling (833) 997-1774 or through our online contact form.
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