The complexities of driving a big truck in Pennsylvania

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2020 | Truck Accidents

Construction zones, gravel-covered roadways and slick surfaces cause Pennsylvania auto accidents throughout the year. Even when you focus on the road, a crash can happen. Big truck involvement can add complexity and severity to collisions on I-78, Route 22 and the Turnpike. We often work with clients injured in a big rig crash. 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Pennsylvania was among the 10 states with the highest average bus and large truck fatalities in 2018. 

Rules and regulations

Semi-truck drivers must comply with the traffic laws of each state and the additional requirements of the FMCSA. These regulations are often more stringent in specific areas, such as driving while intoxicated and using handheld devices like smartphones or tablets. Professional truck drivers must have the proper training and pass difficult exams before obtaining a commercial driver’s license. As a result, they understand the importance of vigilance behind the wheel. 

Additional complexities

Tractor-trailer trucks handle much differently than passenger vehicles. An essential part of the training ensures drivers understand these differences and how to manage them. A semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, vs. 4,000 for an average car or truck. The extra weight means the driver needs more room when braking, especially at high speeds. 

The additional height and length of commercial trucks mean a higher center of gravity, making rollovers a hazard. The training teaches proper techniques for safe turns and maneuvers. Although every automobile has blindspots, big trucks have larger areas they cannot see. These “no-zones” exist directly behind and in front of the vehicle, and along the sides. 

You might have grounds for a claim if you or a loved one sustained an injury in a devastating crash due to truck driver or trucking company negligence.