Semi-trucks range in size. The semi-truck itself is just the vehicle with the engine, which you may occasionally spot on the road. Some trucks have flatbed trailers and transport vehicles or building materials, while many trucks transport one large trailer and others two, laden with cargo.
A smaller big rig without a trailer can weigh somewhere between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds. A truck with a sleeper, larger fuel tanks and a bigger engine, typically used for heavy shipments and load hauls, can weigh a lot more on its own. On average, a semi-truck is five to eight times as heavy as a sedan.
The kind of trailer an 18-wheeler hauls and its cargo can dramatically increase its weight. An empty trailer can weigh 35,000 pounds, while a fully loaded trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds.
Why is all of this important? Depending on the kind of big rig you encounter on the road, you may suffer catastrophic injuries in the event of a collision.
The danger of 18-wheelers
Semi-trucks can seem intimidating when you drive by them and your fears are justified. These trucks, while they serve a great purpose to the economy, are treacherous machines.
They often require a lot of distance before they can stop moving. An engine or tire issue could send a truck swerving on the road. Additionally, many drivers don’t have the qualifications necessary to operate these vehicles.
The heavier a big rig is, the more likely you could suffer fatal injuries in the event that you were involved in an accident with it. Even a minor accident with a semi-truck without a trailer can cause traumatic head and spine injuries.
Protect yourself from a big rig accident
You want to stay safe on the road. While it would be ideal not to encounter a semi-truck on the road, that’s not entirely possible, especially on the highway. The best you may be able to do is to stay visible and keep your distance around these vehicles.
If you couldn’t prevent an accident with a semi-truck and you’ve suffered injuries and losses, then you may need to understand your legal options and seek compensation if the other driver was at fault.