18 Wheeler Wreck
Motorists share the road with large trucks and commercial vehicles based on an implied understanding that truckers and the trucking companies they work for will obey the rules of the road, as well as follow the regulations and guidelines that cover truck maintenance, employment practices, and driver schedules.
Because truckers are frequently paid by the mile, they are incentivized to get more miles under their tires in as short a time period as possible – the obvious way to do this is to drive at excessive speed.
While their engines may be “governed” so as to prevent their RPMs exceeding a certain amount, so keeping them below the legal speed limit posted on our Interstate highways, the reality is that traffic, weather, and road conditions dictate the appropriate speed that ANY driver should be moving at in any given situation.
Merely driving at or below the speed limit doesn’t mean you’re driving safely, particularly if your hauling tens of thousands of pounds. The heavier and faster something is, the harder it is to stop or to maneuver suddenly. Bottom line, 18 wheelers moving too fast present an extraordinary danger to other road users.
Because 18 wheelers are so large, and because they tower above other vehicles, their drivers are at an advantage when it comes to determining what’s going on up ahead. They have little or no excuse for oversight when it comes to anticipating stopping distance.
This video shows you what can happen when a trucker drives too fast for the conditions (look how much traffic there is on the road) – amazingly, no one was killed in this incident:
The Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver’s Handbook goes into great detail concerning appropriate driving techniques for various conditions, and recognizes the advantages 18 wheeler drivers have when it comes to visibility and foreseeability.
Additionally the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration promulgates regulations through the Code of Federal Regulations that apply to truckers and companies involved in hauling freight across state lines. Sections 392.1 through 392.82 provide a clear resource to determine if a trucker or the company he or she drives for is operating in violation of the law.
Here are some “interesting facts” about 18 wheelers. Ponder each of these with a view to road safety, and the economics of road haulage:
- The legal weight for an eighteen wheeler is 80,000 lbs. [40 tons].[ 36287 kg Canadian] That is without any oversize or overweight permits. In comparison, the average automobile weighs over somewhere around 5,000 lbs. Legal U.S. weight per axle is: front 12,000 lbs drive 34,000 lbs trailer 34,000 lbs
- The average length of an eighteen wheeler varies greatly depending on the type of cab they are driving. But the overall average is 70-80 ft. long. The wheelbase of an eighteen wheeler’s cab usually averages between 20 to 22 feet. This is measured from the center of the rear wheel to the center of the front wheel.
- The length of time to stop an eighteen wheeler is 40% greater than that of an automobile. Depending on the weight of their load, whether they are bob-tailing, road conditions, and other factors. Trucks have 10 brakes NOT eighteen. To be sure, it takes a much greater time to stop than an automobile… period.
- While there are myriad variables on cost, the cab of an eighteen wheeler usually ranges from $130,000 to $180,000 new. New trailers usually range from $30,000 to $80,000. So all in all you could be paying over a quarter-million dollars for a new truck and trailer.
- The standard height of eighteen wheelers is 13′ 6″.
Winocour Law has a track record of successfully litigating cases against commercial vehicle drivers and the companies they drive for.
While the law may not directly state that we should, we hold the drivers of these highway behemoths to a higher standard than the average car driver.
One of the worst things you can do if you’re hurt by an 18 wheeler wreck is to delay contacting an attorney.
The companies that truckers drive for won’t waste any time in creating a framework of denial to help them avoid liability.
They will draft self-serving internal memorandum and even go so far as destroying or tampering with evidence to whitewash the truth.
If you hire us to represent you we immediately notify the company and their driver of their duty to preserve records that might be used in evidence.
This “spoliation notice” acts to preserve evidence that could be crucial in proving the trucker’s liability and so securing a monetary recovery for you.
We will also immediately retain an accident re-constructionist to examine and determine how the eighteen wheeler driver’s negligence caused the accident.
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving one of these vehicles, don’t wait.
Call us today, and we will aggressively begin pursuit of a recovery for you.