A car accident in St. Joseph involving a truck is an example of how these crashes involve much more force than those involving two passenger vehicles.
Truck Accident in St. Joseph Leads to Minor Injury
The incident happened on the evening of Monday, December 17, at the intersection of U.S. Highway 169 and Riverside Terrace, just outside of St. Joseph. A car pulled onto the highway in front an oncoming truck, leading to a collision. Despite the truck’s speed, there was apparently enough time for the drivers to take evasive maneuvers to minimize the severity of the crash: Only one of the car’s occupants was hurt, and only suffered minor injuries.
It is unclear if a high mound of dirt on the side of the road contributed to the crash by blocking the merging driver’s view of the road.
Why Car Accidents With Trucks are So Severe
It is obvious to anyone who drivers in western Missouri that car crashes involving a truck or tractor trailer are more severe than those between two passenger vehicles. Less obvious, though, are the three main reasons why truck accidents are more severe, and more often fatal, than accidents involving cars:
- The truck’s weight
- The truck’s height from the ground
- The truck’s lack of maneuverability
How Heavy is a Tractor Trailer or Other Truck?
The main factor that contributes to a truck accident’s added severity is how heavy the truck is, at the time of the crash. When fully loaded, tractor trailers or semi trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. With additional weight permits, they can be even heavier. Empty and without a trailer in tow, these trucks can weigh 20,000 pounds. Add an empty trailer, and the weight jumps to around 35,000 pounds.
For comparison, a Chevy Malibu weighs around 3,400 pounds, while a Chevy Silverado weighs close to 5,000.
Even when they are at their lightest, therefore, getting hit by a tractor trailer is like getting hit by four pickup trucks. With all of that extra weight comes much more force in the collision, as well.
A Truck’s Height Avoids Much of a Car’s Protection
Worse, semi trucks have fenders that are further from the ground than an average passenger vehicle. This makes a huge difference, especially if the truck collides with a small car: The added height means that the truck’s fender does not collide with the car’s fender. Instead, it hits a more vulnerable part of the car, causing more damage and making a severe or fatal injury far more likely.
Trucks are Hard to Maneuver
Finally, trucks are very difficult to maneuver without jackknifing or flipping over. Truck drivers know this, and are trained to not jerk the wheel, even in the face of an imminent collision. As a result, trucks are largely unable to swerve to avoid a crash, increasing the number of truck collisions that happen on the roadways of Missouri.
St. Joseph Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office
Truck accidents are often severe enough to cause serious injuries. The personal injury lawyers at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph know how to hold not just the truck driver liable for a crash, but the trucking company, as well. Contact them online or call their law office at (816) 875-9373 for the legal help you need to get the compensation you deserve.