Why 18-wheeler Wrecks are more dangerous than Normal

While large trucks only account for about 4% of the vehicles on the road, they are responsible for approximately 9% of fatal crashes. In 2012, there were 3,464 large truck wrecks that resulted in at least one fatality.

Why? The answer is simple physics. F=MA.

You may remember from science class that Force = Mass x Acceleration. This means that a midsized car weighing about 3,500 lbs. going 30 miles an hour is going to generate a force of 21,291 Newtons (If you would like to do your own calculation, you can find a calculator here). That’s a lot of force. It only takes about 4,000 newtons of force to break a thigh bone.

Now, let’s do the calculation with an 18-wheeler, weighing 70,000 lbs., going the same speed. The force… 425,824 Newtons. That’s 20 times the force of a midsized car going the same speed. Because of the mass of 18-wheelers, they have more force and are more dangerous when they hit something.

What does this mean? It means tractor-trailer drivers and their companies have to be extra cautious while on the roadway. What might be a minor injury situation between two Honda Accords, can become a catastrophic and life-threatening crash when an 18-wheeler is involved. That is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set safety rules for big trucks on the roadway in hopes of reducing the number and severity of wrecks that have such large amount of force. When truck drivers and their companies ignore these safety rules, even low speed crashes can lead to serious injury.

At Oliver Law Firm, we hold trucking companies accountable for following the safety rules. We know that even a relatively low speed collision with an 18-wheeler can lead to devastating and life-altering injuries. Our experts are trained to explain to juries how the force of an 18-wheeler wreck, even at lower speeds, can cause serious injuries.

If you have been injured by a tractor-trailer, even if it was at low speed, call Oliver Law Firm today, (479) 202-5200 or connect with our live chat.

Oliver Law Firm, 3606 W. Southern Hills Blvd., Ste. 200, Rogers, AR 72758