Tractor-trailers can be a source of entertainment for your kid on the backseat. We’ve seen it in movies and shows; how when you pump your elbow at a truck driver, there’s a chance that the truck driver may honk his horn for you. Accidents involving tractor-trailers, however, may prove to be destructive and fatal just because of the sheer size of the vehicle. In fact, a lot of people prefer not to drive alongside a tractor-trailer because they are considered as speeding behemoths.
Getting involved in a truck accident with a tractor-trailer in Michigan can be devastating, and it’s during these times that you should consider looking for an injury lawyer who can protect you.
What is a Tractor-Trailer?
A tractor-trailer, also called a semi-trailer truck, semi, big rig or eighteen-wheeler, is a vehicle that is a combination of a tractor unit plus either one or more semi-trailers. Their main use is to carry freight. According to an article from a magazine website, there are 2.8 million registered tractor-trailers in the U.S. in 2016.
This type of vehicle came to be known as “semis” because the trailers have no front wheels, and the only way to use them is when they are connected to the tractor part of the truck. The trailer can only move when: one, a truck is connected, and two, the pressure from the truck’s engine-powered air pump releases the brakes. Because of the way they work, they’ve become known as “semi-trailer.” In terms of weight, the maximum that a tractor-trailer can carry is around 80,000 pounds that’s spread over 18 conventional wheels.
The same article also notes that 68 percent of all goods in the U.S. are transported and delivered by tractor-trailers. The most common items being transported are agricultural and construction materials using logging trucks, constructions trucks and delivery vans. This just goes to show how common a tractor-trailer sighting can be on the freeway.
What Causes a Tractor-Trailer Accident?
To ensure road safety, anti-lock brakes have been required on tractor trailers since 1997. This requirement has helped reduce the number of jackknife crashes significantly. Jackknife crashes occur when the rear wheels of the truck lock up and the connecting trailer swings around at an acute angle with the truck.
According to the same article mentioned earlier, the most dangerous accidents today which involve tractor-trailers are called rollovers. This type of accident happens when the tractor-trailer is traveling over a loose surface, and the driver then over-corrects while trying to steer the truck back into the pavement.
Driving a semi takes skill and proper knowledge which is why any driver of a tractor-trailer should be holding a Class A driver’s license. This means the driver can pilot a vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds. Tractor-trailer accidents can be triggered by a lot of factors including but not limited to the following:
Distracted drivers – This includes a driver who is texting, eating or taking a call.
Fatigue or falling asleep on the wheel – Tractor-trailer drivers are known to sleep in the cab of their trucks. In fact, there are sleeper cab trucks that have an allotted space behind the driving cabin in case there’s a need for an overnight break.
A great personal injury lawyer should be able to have an expert team who can help investigate the real cause of the accident. This way, you will be adequately compensated for any damages or injuries if this type of unfortunate event happens to you.
What to Do in a Tractor-Trailer Accident?
The most important thing you need to do in case you get involved in a tractor-trailer accident is to focus on your health and recovery. Your top priority should be your medical condition.
Once you’re able to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer in Michigan, make sure to choose one that has years of experience handling tractor-trailer accidents. One of the key things they need to do is to secure a copy of the equipment safety record and the log of the driver’s hours from the trucking company involved. This will help determine if the cause of the accident is due to poor equipment or driver fatigue.
The Clark Law Office will Be Able to Help You in a Tractor-Trailer Accident.
If you find yourself in a devastating event such as a tractor-trailer accident, make sure to approach a personal injury lawyer who will protect you. The Clark Law Office has been a leading Michigan personal injury law firm for the last 30 years. We will personally work on your case from start to finish, so you are assured that your case will be treated with the utmost importance. If you’re ready to win your case, call us at your earliest convenience at (517) 347-6900. Your initial consultation is on us.