Thousands of big trucks cross Oklahoma every day. Passenger vehicles sharing space with these roadway giants are at an extreme disadvantage if there is a collision. Fully loaded transport trucks can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds while small cars are just a fraction of that amount. Understanding the physical challenges truckers face when operating a tractor trailer can help motorists make safer decisions during their commutes.
Under ideal conditions of dry pavement, good tires and brakes and an alert driver, a tractor trailer at highway speeds can still take the distance of two football fields to stop. Anything in its path during those 600 feet is in acute danger. Factoring in the possibility of wet roads, worn brakes or a distracted driver can greatly increase the time and distance a big truck requires for a controlled stop. For these reasons, motorists should avoid the temptation to merge into the safety cushion a trucker is leaving between his or her vehicle and the one it follows.
While truckers are required to have specialized training and need a special license to operate their vehicles, motorists have no way of knowing the safety record or experience level of the driver of a truck one lane over. Almost every driver has experienced highway fatigue, and after a long day of driving, a trucker’s reaction time could be dulled. Defensive driving is the best way to ensure a safe commute for any motorist.
Anytime there is a tractor trailer crash, great potential exists for serious damages and life-threatening injuries. A qualified trucking accident lawyer can help pinpoint the exact cause of a crash and determine whether a driver’s training or fatigue was a factor. A qualified advocate in the business of helping victims secure full and fair compensation is a worthwhile consideration for any truck accident victim.