Truck AccidentA Guide to the Biggest Trucks on US Roads and Why They Are Lethal in Accidents

April 23, 20240

Consumer vehicles have gotten bigger and bigger over the years. In the 90s and early 2000s, the most significant concern about these large SUVs and trucks was their gas-guzzling nature, but as time has passed, they have come to represent a more significant threat. When these large vehicles are involved in an accident, the results can be disastrous for the people involved.

Size Matters

Road accidents involve a lot of force. When two vehicles collide, or when a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the forces involved are often fatal. Force is calculated as mass times acceleration. It has been well documented that when speeds are reduced, road accidents become less fatal.

When the mass is increased, however, the opposite happens. Even at lower speeds, accidents involving large trucks and SUVs that can weigh more than two tons can be just as fatal. The bigger the vehicle, the worse the impact and the worse the injuries caused, or the higher the chance of a fatality.

When people buy large SUVs and trucks, they are often motivated by the utility they offer or the luxurious features inside. Too few people consider the dangers these vehicles can pose to others in a car accident, especially when that accident involves a pedestrian.

The Threat to Pedestrians

Trucks and SUVs get bigger by getting taller. The top of the grill of a large SUV can often be five or more feet off the ground, head height. Not only can this impact a driver’s visibility of the road immediately in front of them, but it also makes pedestrian accidents much more lethal. Not only are the chances of a severe, full-force head injury increased, but also there is a greater chance of the pedestrian being forced underneath the vehicle.

In many road accidents involving pedestrians that involve regular-sized vehicles, the impact is on the hips or torso and the pedestrian goes over the hood of the car. Though this can be lethal and cause significant injuries, in many cases, the injuries are less life-threatening and can be treated successfully. Victims often remain conscious too.

In SUV or truck accidents where a pedestrian is hit, the resulting injuries are often severe and difficult to treat. The pedestrian is often forced beneath the vehicle and receives further injuries from the undercarriage and the wheels. The trauma is much more severe, more difficult to treat, and often leaves longer-lasting injuries. It can even result in permanent disabilities at a higher rate than in accidents involving regular-sized vehicles like sedans, coupes, and minivans.

Drivers Are at Risk Too

Larger vehicles also cause more carnage when involved in road accidents with other vehicles too. The height plays a role here, with their tall and flat grills impacting cars with a lower height and often dwarfing them in scale and in weight. Impacts with other, smaller vehicles often happen at head height, with side impacts in ‘T-Bone’ crashes causing significant injuries to drivers and passengers situated on the side of the impact. Large vehicles will often cause crush injuries as well, not just blunt force trauma, as smaller vehicles struggle to absorb the full force of a side-impact accident with a large truck or SUV.

Accidents involving large trucks and smaller vehicles often involve traumatic brain injury, crush injuries such as internal bleeding and broken bones, and fatalities. The force involved in these accidents, accentuated by the excess mass of trucks and SUVs, often deforms the vehicle that has been hit, hampering rescue attempts and requiring victims to be released from the vehicle using ‘jaws of life’ operated by first responders. This can make injuries worse, or turn an injury into a fatality, as passengers and drivers injured by the crash receive delayed treatment. In the aftermath of a road accident, a delay of treatment of just a few minutes can cost someone their life.

Large trucks and SUVs often increase the levels of trauma and severity of injuries in road accidents. Drivers of all vehicles need to be aware that these vehicles pose a higher threat level on our roads to pedestrians and other road users, as well as their drivers.

If you have been involved in a road accident, whether as a driver or a passenger involving a large truck or SUV or not, you may need legal representation to protect your rights and get the justice you deserve. Do not suffer in silence. Speak to one of our qualified legal consultants today.

You can visit the law offices of Daniel T. Pagliarini for advice at: 700 Bishop St, Ste 2100, Honolulu, HI, 96813

Or call us today for a free consultation on (808) 745-1592.

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