Tractor-trailers, big rigs, 18-wheeler, semi – the names for these large trucks varies but when one is out on the road it is difficult to miss. 18 Wheelers are mainly used for towing heavy cargo such as gasoline, construction materials, and even other cars and trucks.
These trucks are usually comprised of two parts, the towing engine and the actual semi-trailer which is what is hauling the cargo. In some cases there are also double and triple trailers which mean multiple trailers attached to a single towing engine.
Drivers often shy away from driving near 18 wheelers due to their enormous size and hazardous materials they may be towing. Unfortunately accidents are still a common occurrence between passenger vehicles and these types of trucks.
According to a report by the United States Census Bureau nearly 300,000 large truck accidents occurred in 2009 while Alabama Department of Safety records noted that more than 123,000 car collisions happened that same year. Large truck accidents often involve more than one vehicle due to their large size and driving routes which often take them on multi-lane highways and roads.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18-wheeler accident caused by a careless driver, the victim may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and expenses, property damage, loss of wages, and more.
To receive a free assessment of your case, simply fill out the Free Case Review form to your right and your information will be reviewed by one of experienced truck accident lawyers.
18 Wheelers vs. Other Vehicles
Compared to most other vehicles, 18 wheelers surpass them in size and weight. Compared to an average car engine, a semi-trailer engine is six times larger. Although height and weight regulations vary from state to state, special permits allow them to surpass the limits if need be.
Some other interesting statistics about 18 wheelers compared to typical motor vehicles include:
- The average car weighs 5,000 pounds, whereas a semi on average weighs 80,000 pounds.
- Turnpike-doubles which consists of two 48-foot trailers can legally weigh up to 147,000 pounds.
- The length of an 18 wheeler may vary by the cargo they are carrying, in the case of turnpike-doubles that may be longer than 48 feet.
- On average the width of an 18 wheeler is 8.5 feet whereas the width of a full-size vehicle is less than 7 feet.
- The standard height of an 18 wheeler is 13.5 feet.
- Average turning width for a semi is 55 feet, which is nearly 5 times larger than the width of an average U.S lane.
The difference between 18 wheelers and motorcycles is even greater as motorcycles can weigh as little as 200 pounds and, depending on the bike, may only be between 6 and 8 feet long.
18 Wheeler Laws
Driving an 18 wheeler requires special licensing and drivers must follow particular laws set forth by the government and their state.
The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration creates rules, regulations, and further guidance for those who decide to operate these large trucks. Some standard regulations they will have to abide by include:
- Proper licensing
- Proper Truck Maintenance
- Preservation of all the correct paperwork
- Insurance Requirements
- Hazardous Material Transportation Certification
- Proper Loading Practices
- Proper Use of Safety Equipment
- …and more.
Driving a large truck is a big responsibility with many hazards. Most often blind spot accidents, truck underride, and jackknife accidents are caused by 18-wheelers so drivers and fellow motorists need to be alert and careful when travelling near these large trucks.
Contact our Knowledgeable Alabama Trucks Accident Lawyers
There are many reasons why a driver may be involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler and unfortunately many injuries may be the result of such accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered at the hands of a negligible driver who caused an 18 wheeler accident, the injured may be eligible for compensation.
Our lawyers at Citrin Law firm are experienced in handling truck accident claims and have successfully handled hundreds of personal injury cases. We are dedicated to providing the injured with comprehensive legal assistance and can help guide you through the entire litigation process. We have an office located conveniently in Mobile, Alabama but are also proud to serve the following areas:
- Jackson Oak
- Pine Grove
…and further surrounding cities and towns.
For a free, no-obligation review of your case contact us at 1-251-888-8888 and one of our intake staff members will assist you in getting connected with one of our personal injury lawyers.
You may also contact us online by filling out the Free Case Review form at the top right hand corner of this page – it’s 100% free and confidential.