Dangers of Different Kinds of Commercial Vehicles
A commercial vehicle is defined as any type of vehicle that is utilized to transport goods or people in exchange for payment. There are many different types of commercial vehicles and each presents its own risks of accidents and injuries when it is operated alongside smaller passenger vehicles. The following are only some examples of commercial vehicles and the dangers they present on the roads.
Semi-trucks and Tractor-trailers – Semi-trucks are generally what people think about when they hear the term “commercial vehicle.” These trucks are articulated vehicles,1 which means that it has two parts that are connected together by a joint, which is called the coupling. Though these trucks are responsible for transporting food, household items, and many other retail goods across the United States and to stores on a regular basis, there are many risks associated with this type of vehicle. Some of these risks include as follows:
* Sheer size and weight—these trucks dwarf passenger vehicles and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. When a truck is involved in a collision with a passenger vehicle that may only weigh about 3,500 pounds, you can imagine that the resulting damage can be severe.
* Braking—Semi-trucks can take up to 200-450 feet to come to a complete stop, which is substantially more than a regular vehicle and can cause collisions if a car suddenly stops in front of a truck.
* Poor visibility—Trucks have extensive blind spots, usually referred to as “no-zones,” on all sides of the truck. When a car is driving in one of these zones, it may be practically invisible to the truck driver.
* Articulation—If the coupling fails on a tractor-trailer, the trailer can jackknife2 or even come completely detached from the front of the truck. Runaway trailers can destroy anything in their paths.
Tanker trucks are similar to a tractor-trailer except the trailer is a giant cylindrical tank intended to transport liquid or gas cargo. Tanker trucks must be loaded with care since they can cause a driver to experience issues if they are under-loaded. If a tanker is under-loaded with liquid, the liquid in the tank may slosh back and forth as the truck moves, causing the tank to sway and, ultimately, possibly causing the driver to lose control. In the case of an accident involving a tanker truck, there is the possibility that the tank can come apart from the rest of the truck, meaning it could freely roll down the road and collide with anything in its path.
Furthermore, tanker trucks often carry hazardous, toxic, or flammable chemicals. In the event that the contents of a tanker spill, anyone in the roadway could be exposed to toxins. Even if the contents do not spill out, fires or explosions may ignite due to the impact of a collision.
Most delivery trucks are a type of vehicle referred to as a “box truck,”3 which means the cargo area is attached to the cab and there is no articulation. Though delivery trucks tend to be significantly smaller than other commercial transport trucks, they still have the potential to cause serious accidents and injuries. One reason for these risks is that delivery trucks often deliver packages to homes or small businesses in residential or urban areas. This means that, instead of driving mostly on highways, these trucks are traversing the frequent turns and intersections of the city. Since these trucks still require greater space to maneuver than passenger vehicles, the risk of collisions with other vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians is high.
An experienced truck accident attorney in Clearwater, Florida can help you
Every commercial truck case is different due to the many different kinds of commercials vehicles, the many different causes of accidents, and other differing circumstances that may exist. You always want to have an attorney handling your case who understands the unique issues in a truck accident case and will work to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your particular accident. At the Dolman Law Group, we have extensive experience handling truck accident cases and helping victims receive the compensation they deserve. Call us today for a free consultation at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756