Head-On Collisions: Why Negligent Truckers Cause These Tragic Crashes
When fully loaded, a typical big rig weighs approximately 80,000 pounds, depending on cargo. A typical passenger vehicle weighs about 4,000 pounds. At an average speed of 65 mph, a semi-truck needs more than twice the stopping distance of a passenger vehicle. If a trucker doesn't have the time and space to avoid a crash, the force of the impact can be devastating. Unfortunately, head-on collisions are the leading cause of fatalities in truck accidents, causing 57.5 percent of all deaths in 2014.
Causes of Deadly Head-On Collisions
A head-on truck collision occurs when the front of a semi crashes into the front of another vehicle. Truck driver errors are usually the underlying reasons these wrecks occur. Common causes include:
- Crossing the centerline. Whenever a trucker crosses the center lane, for whatever reason, a head-on collision is the likely result, as there's little time or space for lane correction.
- Making wide turns. If a driver doesn't navigate a turn properly, he can cross right into another vehicle's lane.
- Speeding around a curve. While speeding is never safe, doing so on a curve can make a trucker lose control of his truck and cross over the center lane.
- Going through a stop. If a truck driver runs a red light or goes through a stop sign without the right of way, he can cause a head-on collision with a driver legally turning left in the intersection.
- Passing improperly. When a truck driver attempts to pass a vehicle on a two-lane road or highway and doesn't have enough clearance, he could hit an oncoming vehicle if he has insufficient time to get back into his lane.
- Causing a jackknife accident. Sharp turns and avoidance maneuvers sometimes causes a truck to jackknife, sending it head-on into other vehicles.
- Driving when drowsy. If a trucker is fighting to stay awake or falls asleep at the wheel, he can veer into oncoming traffic.
- Engaging in distracted driving. A distracted driver may be involved in talking on a cellphone, texting, looking at a GPS, or eating and drinking—behaviors that greatly reduce reaction time.
If you or a family member was injured in a head-on truck collision, call our office today to schedule your free consultation with Alan Morton. You'll receive answers to your questions, and learn about potential compensation you could be entitled to receive from the negligent trucker and trucking company.