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Why does a semi’s weight matter in an accident?

by | Feb 16, 2023 | Firm News

A big rig is the combination of a motorized vehicle and a trailer. These vehicles are specially made to transport large shipments and often come in different sizes, shapes and weights.  Some trucks are equipped with sleepers, larger fuel tanks and engines, which often dictate what kind of trailer it can haul. Smaller big rigs may only transport a single trailer or flatbed, while a truck with a larger engine may be able to carry multiple trailers of varying weights.

A smaller semitruck without a trailer typically weighs anywhere between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds – on average, that’s about almost ten times heavier than a typical commercial vehicle. The addition of a trailer can increase a semi truck’s weight to 35,000 pounds, if the trailer is empty, or 80,000 pounds with a full trailer.

It’s important for truckers to understand what’s being transported, as the heavier a shipment the longer it will take to stop a truck, which trained and experienced truckers are frequently aware of. In an accident, a large big rig carrying a heavy load can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries. As someone who may often drive alongside semi trucks, you should also be aware of how you can stay safe:

Staying safe around big rigs

There’s a lot that can lead to a semitruck accident. For starters, many vehicle accidents, including trucking collisions, are caused by weather – rain making the road slick, fog obscuring a driver’s view or ice preventing drivers from stopping. Thus, if you notice you’re struggling to drive, then it’s very likely a trucker is too, and you should take steps to reduce a collision.

Another cause of vehicle accidents is a truck driver’s incompetence. A driver who doesn’t have enough training or experience may struggle to control their vehicle. If you notice a big rig swerving or drifting between lanes, then it may be best to let them pass.

If you couldn’t prevent an accident, then you may need to understand your legal rights to seek compensation for your injuries.