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Back to the Basics – Unique Dangers of Tractor Trailers

Red truck on highway

There are a significant number of tractor-trailers on the road at any given time of the day. These tractor-trailers play an important role in our economy. Yet, with all these tractor-trailers on the road, the number of tractor-trailer related accidents is fairly high.

Recently, in Champaign County, Illinois, a 26-year old driver was hospitalized and charged with a DUI after he caused a three-vehicle accident. This particular accident happened on I-72 east, mile marker 179. The at-fault driver was speeding when he crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer, bouncing off of the truck’s trailer and then crashing into another vehicle. The 26-year old driver was life-flighted to a nearby hospital and his injuries are unknown at this point.

As you know, being involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer can cause serious bodily injury or even death. As it turns out, there are certain dangers associated with these tractor-trailers that you should be knowledgeable of. Being aware of said dangers will best allow you to drive safely when a tractor-trailer is traveling nearby.

First, however, if you are involved in a truck-related accident at the fault of another driver, it is imperative that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Not only will an attorney improve your chances of receiving adequate compensation, but will also speak to insurance companies, other third parties, will get you the medical treatment you need, and, best of all, will allow you time to focus on your recovery.

Noteworthy Dangers of Tractor-Trailers

FIRST, tractor-trailers weigh significantly more than passenger vehicles causing passenger vehicles to be particularly vulnerable. According to the Truck Report, the legal weight of a tractor-trailer is 80,000 pounds, or 40 tons. At the same time, the average weight of an automobile is only 5,000 pounds.

SECOND, tractor-trailers are more powerful than passenger vehicles. Tractor-trailers, on average, have 400 to 600 horsepower and 1,000 to 2,000 foot pounds of torque. Cars on the other hand, have between 100 to 200 horsepower, on average, and 100 to 200 foot pounds of torque. With all this power, and weight as mentioned above, it is best to keep your distance from these powerful machines.

THIRD, tractor-trailers are much longer and larger than passenger vehicles. The Truck Reports states that, on average, a tractor-trailer, including its trailer, ranges between 70 to 80 feet in length. The standard height of a tractor-trailer is 13 ½ feet.

FOURTH, it takes a lot longer for a tractor-trailer to stop. Considering the aforementioned weight and size of these tractor-trailers, it may be no surprise that it takes longer for tractor-trailers to come to a stop. For instance, the Truck Report noted that it generally takes tractor-trailers 40 percent more time to come to a stop. This is important. You do not want a tractor-trailer to tailgate you. If you need to come to a stop, there is a chance the truck will not have sufficient time to stop and avoid crashing into you. If a tractor-trailer is tailgating you, it is best if you change lanes if it is safe to do so.

Hire an Attorney for your Case

Again, if you or a loved one are injured from a truck-related accident, it is imperative that you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. The Illinois personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti have the experience needed to aggressively take on your case. Call us today at (312) 332-2872 or toll free (877) 374-1417 to schedule a FREE consultation.