Any kind of motor vehicle accident can be devastating. However, an accident involving a commercial vehicle has the potential for far greater devastation than one involving only passenger vehicles. These large vehicles are inherently dangerous due to their size.
Key differences to keep in mind
An accident with a tractor-trailer has some unique elements compared to car wrecks, including:
- The smallest commercial vehicle at the minimum gross weight is still more than twice the weight of an SUV and eight times heavier than a compact car.
- Some big rigs haul hazardous materials, such as gasoline, or items like cinder blocks that could become deadly in an accident.
- The larger the vehicle, the greater the distance needed to bring the vehicle to a stop.
Catastrophic consequences may result from even the slightest act of negligence on the part of a truck driver. This may include failing to properly secure the load, not inspecting the vehicle for tire or brake issues, or ignoring the rules for rest breaks during long shifts. An accident involving a commercial vehicle may also point to the negligence of other parties, such as the trucking company, the truck owner or the mechanic who serviced the truck.
Perhaps the most tragic difference between an accident with a commercial vehicle and an accident with another passenger vehicle is that the chances of suffering serious, life-altering or life-ending injuries is considerably higher due to all the factors listed above. An accident victim may face a lifetime of pain and suffering, medical bills, missed wages, and the loss of many activities they once enjoyed.