Many rear-end collisions result in nothing more than minor property damage. Yet, those accidents that involve high speed or larger vehicles can cause much more devastation. In fact, an accident that involves a semi-truck can leave victims with injuries that are so serious that they are disabling or life-threatening.
Sadly, rear-end truck accidents are more common than many people think. One reason for this is that semi-trucks need a greater distance to safely come to a stop. A passenger vehicle weighing 4,000 pounds traveling at 40 miles per hour needs about 125 feet. A semi-truck, on the other hand, can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and be as long as 18 feet, thereby causing it to need as much as 170 feet to come to a safe stop when traveling at 45 miles per hour.
A truck’s stopping distance increases with speed. A passenger vehicle traveling at 65 miles per hour may need about the length of a football field to come to a stop, whereas a semi-truck may need up to twice that distance. Depending on the circumstances, these distances can be exacerbated, too. If a trucker is tired, distracted, or drunk, then he or she may take longer to react to slowed or stopped traffic. Weather conditions, too, can cause a truck’s braking effectiveness to diminish, thereby requiring a longer distance to come to a stop.
The tragic reality is that many victims of semi-truck accidents, including those who are hurt in a rear-end collision, end up suffering extensive injuries that reshape their lives. These victims oftentimes incur significant medical expenses, experience tremendous pain and suffering, and face devastating financial damage from lost wages. The only saving grace for these victims is the fact that they may be able to recover compensation for their injuries. To successfully do so, though, they will likely have to show that the trucker in question was negligent, and that negligence caused the accident and injuries in question. Experienced legal professionals stand ready to help demonstrate these elements in a personal injury lawsuit.