At Bryan Garrett PLLC, we have helped clients navigate a wide range of personal injury cases. We’ve noticed many significant differences between truck accident cases and car accidents. These differences can lead to different payouts, injuries, and legal consequences.
Read on to learn the answer to “How are truck accident cases different from car accidents?” Then contact our legal team to schedule your free initial consultation.
Trucks Need More Stopping Distance
Many truck accidents occur due to the sheer size of commercial trucks compared to passenger vehicles. Trucks traveling at 65 mph need to leave about 600 feet between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them to allow plenty of time to stop. Meanwhile, passenger vehicles traveling at the same speed only need about 300 feet of stopping distance.
Truck drivers need to keep this stopping distance in mind as they travel. Rear-end collisions can easily occur if they do not leave enough stopping distance.
Trucks Require More Routine Maintenance
Trucks also require more routine maintenance than passenger vehicles. Failing to complete these maintenance tasks can cause trucks to malfunction and become involved in accidents.
While passenger vehicles only require an occasional oil change, tire rotation, and fluid top-off, commercial trucks sustain more wear and tear and require much more maintenance. Truck drivers need to schedule routine maintenance on all of the following systems:
- Engine oil
- Cooling and heating systems
- Braking system
- Fuel system
- Electrical systems
- Mounts, belts, hoses, CV joints, and drive shafts
Truck Accidents Often Produce More Severe Injuries
Unfortunately, truck accidents typically lead to more severe injuries than car accidents.
While car accidents can undoubtedly produce significant injuries and even death, the likelihood of truck accidents causing severe injuries is greater. In 2019, over 5,800 crashes involving large trucks occurred in Oklahoma, leading to over 100 fatalities.
Commercial trucks weigh a lot more than passenger vehicles. While passenger vehicles typically weigh under 5,000 pounds, commercial trucks can weigh at least 35,000 pounds. This significant weight difference can cause trucks to wreak havoc on passenger vehicles during accidents.
Truck accidents often produce injuries such as the following:
- Spinal injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Rib and torso injuries
The accumulation of these injuries can sometimes result in wrongful death.
Truck Accidents Can Involve Company Negligence
Car accidents typically involve personal disputes between two drivers. However, the drivers of commercial trucks typically work for larger companies. As a result, truck accident cases can involve company negligence along with or instead of driver negligence.
For example, trucking companies are often responsible for completing vehicle maintenance. If they fail to perform a required maintenance task, they may be liable for accidents.
Additionally, trucking companies are responsible for training their drivers well and ensuring that they can safely operate massive commercial trucks. If a company fails to put its drivers through appropriate training, it may be responsible for the driver’s actions on the road.
Truck Drivers Must Follow Different Rules and Regulations
Truck drivers must also adhere to different rules and regulations on the road compared to passenger vehicle drivers. For example, commercial drivers must have a BAC of less than 0.4 in Oklahoma, while passenger vehicle drivers can operate their cars with a BAC of up to 0.8. Truck drivers also cannot drive for more than 11 hours in one day and must have 10 hours of rest between shifts.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, you need an attorney who knows the complexities of these cases. Contact our Bryan Garrett PLLC team today at 405-725-2661 to schedule your free initial consultation.