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There are many reasons why a tractor-trailer is so dangerous. From the required stopping distance, blind spots, size, weight, and height, to the experience of the driver and the road conditions; a truck accident can be devastating. There are thousands of truck accidents on the roads of Arizona every year resulting in hundreds of injuries and deaths.

Truck stopping distance requirements

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has regulations in place that determine how much distance is needed for a tractor-trailer to stop safely. These regulations have been adapted over the years, with the latest change occurring in 2013; it reduced the distance trucks have in order to come to a stop when traveling at 60 MPH, from 355 feet to 250 feet.

Less stopping time means an increased risk of rear-end collisions. Rear-end accidents involving tractor-trailers are some of the deadliest on the highways of the United States. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FCMSA):

  • 58% of fatal rear-end accidents where a truck struck a vehicle occurred on a highway
  • In rear-end accidents involving three vehicles, more than 50% of these accidents involved two trucks
  • There were two trucks involved in close to 66% of rear-end accidents involving four vehicles
  • In close to 20% of rear-end crashes where the truck struck the other vehicle there were three or more vehicles total in the crash
  • 16% of the above accidents resulted in fatalities

Tractor-trailer weight

A tractor-trailer can weight 40 times more than a car, van, or SUV. If the truck is loaded to its full potential, it can weigh close to 80,000 pounds. This much weight makes it difficult for a truck to start moving from a dead stop, stop completely at a red light or in traffic, and challenging to change course when compared with a sedan or other small vehicle.

Blind spots pose serious risks

Blind spots on tractor-trailers are everywhere – literally. Truck drivers have difficulty seeing other vehicles behind them, on either side of them, and sometimes in front of them. It is best for you to operate as far away from a truck as possible. If you can’t, try to avoid driving in a truck’s blind spot as much as possible. Even with extended sideview mirrors it can be challenging for a truck driver to see other vehicles.

Were you or a loved one injured in a crash with a tractor-trailer? The experienced Phoenix truck accident attorneys at Plattner Verderame, P.C. can review your case and provide you with an honest assessment. Call our office at 602-266-2002 or complete a contact form online to schedule a consultation. We operate offices in Phoenix and Tempe to better serve our clients.