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Semi-trailer trucks, also known as 18 wheelers, are massive vehicles that share the road with people commuting and traveling in cars every day. When an 18 wheeler is involved in an accident with a smaller vehicle, the smaller vehicle and its occupants are usually worse off. The likelihood of serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries is increased in such an accident as compared to an accident with only smaller vehicles. Trucks usually weigh 20-30 times as much as the average vehicle and are taller with greater ground clearance, resulting in smaller vehicles often under-riding trucks with dangerous results.
The Advocates at Advocates Law want you to be aware of the dangers of these 18 wheelers. We have experience representing people involved in these types of accidents and can help you decide if getting an 18 wheeler accident lawyer is the right path for you.
Dangers of 18 Wheelers
Brake Fade and Imbalance
Loaded tractor-trailers require 20-40 percent more roadway than cars do in order to come to a complete stop. Semi-trucks and their brake systems need regular maintenance. However, costs and time can occasionally come into play, making it difficult to provide needed maintenance. Without proper upkeep, brakes suffer from brake fade and imbalance, causing 18 wheelers to be unable to stop quickly enough to avoid an accident.
Brake fade is when there is too much heat on the brakes, causing the brake pad and disc to improperly connect. Often 18 wheelers have multiple braking systems to avoid this, but when one fades, the others take on the added load and this will cause the brakes to wear out faster. Brake imbalance ensues when 18 wheelers have incorrect brake components, which may cause the back of the truck to swing out, leading to extensive damage for any vehicles unlucky enough to be hit.
One of the reasons why you shouldn’t tailgate or drive inside of an 18 wheeler’s blind spots is that if one of the trucks wheels blew out the flying rubber could damage your car and cause you to run off the road or even into another vehicle. Tire blowouts on 18 wheelers can happen at any time and without warning. Though 18 wheelers are required to have regular maintenance, many still run on tires that have tread depths too low, while others have tires with noticeable flat spots. In addition, an overloaded truck can put too much weight on tires if they are not recommended for use at higher weights.
Federal law does not allow truck drivers to work more than 11 hours at a time. Adhering to a strict transport schedule may sway drivers to push the federal limit and drive longer than 11 hours. Driving for such long hours can lead to decreased alertness, fatigue, poor judgement and slow response times.
Do I Need an 18 Wheeler Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured by a semi-truck, it is very likely you will need an experienced 18 wheeler accident lawyer to be an Advocate for you. The size and weight of these large vehicles crashing into your car can cause severe injuries and property damage. Your 18 wheeler accident lawyer will know how to negotiate with the trucker’s insurance company to get you a fair settlement since many commercial vehicles’ insurance policies have high policy limits.
The Advocates at Advocates Law have an experienced and knowledgeable 18 wheeler accident lawyer waiting to speak with you. Your initial consultation is always free and confidential. Contact us today.
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