Personal Injury

Why Are Semi-Trucks More Likely To Cause Rear-End Accidents?

The truck runs on the highway with speed. 3d render and illustration.

Texas truck accident lawyers explain why rear-end crashes involving tractor-trailers are so common.

Semi-trucks – sometimes known as 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers – often cause serious and fatal rear-end accidents with other vehicles. So, why are these particular types of truck accidents so common? And what makes them so dangerous?

The most common type of motor vehicle accident is a rear-end collision. That’s when the front end of one vehicle hits the back end of another vehicle in front.

Nearly one-third – roughly 30 percent – of all collisions involve one vehicle colliding into the back of another vehicle, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Add all these numbers up, and that’s often more than 2 million rear-end accidents each year nationwide.

Below, you can learn all about rear-end accidents involving semi-trucks, courtesy of our legal team. At Tracey Fox King & Walters, we know all about these crashes because we have been helping injury victims and their families deal with them for years. If you were rear-ended and injured by a big rig in Texas, contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and potential options for compensation.

What makes rear-end tractor-trailer accidents so serious?

When one car rear-ends another car, some of these collisions are minor. But that’s rarely the case regarding a tractor-trailer rear-ending a car or smaller truck. What’s the difference? Much of it has to do with the large size of most semi-trucks.

When fully loaded, a tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. In contrast, most cars on the road today weigh about 4,000 pounds. That means an 18-wheeler weighs 20 times more than most cars.

Another reason semi-truck rear-end accidents are so severe is that tractor-trailers need a longer braking distance to slow down. As a result, when an 18-wheeler crashes into the back of another car, it is often going much faster than a passenger vehicle.

Close up of a side rear view mirror with two large semi trucks reflected in the mirror along a highway in a rural countryside landscape

Why do rear-end truck accidents happen?

Negligence often plays a role in rear-end truck accidents. Examples include:

  • Distracted truck drivers – An estimated 85 percent of rear-end collisions occur due to distracted driving, according to the NHTSA. Commercial truck drivers can be especially distracted, whether looking up directions, talking to a dispatcher, talking on a cell phone, or eating while driving.
  • Texting truck drivers – Even though it’s against the law nationwide for commercial truck drivers to text while driving, many truck drivers do exactly that.
  • Speeding drivers – Commercial truck drivers face constant pressure to deliver products as fast as possible across the country because the more deliveries they make, the more money the trucking company makes. As a result, many tractor-trailer drivers go too fast and can’t slow down in time to avoid causing a rear-end crash.
  • Inexperienced truck drivers – Many commercial truck drivers are inexperienced drivers. As a result, they don’t have the knowledge or experience to safely operate a large semi-truck. Instead of following at a safe distance, they might be tailgating or driving too fast and not have enough time to avoid a collision.
  • Tired truck drivers – Many commercial truck drivers work long hours, especially long-haul truckers who drive cross country. As a result, they’re often tired and fall asleep at the wheel, resulting in their truck crashing into the back of another vehicle.
  • Defective brakes – Truck drivers and trucking companies must properly maintain their trucks. This is especially true when it comes to a truck’s brakes. If they’re old or not working correctly, defective brakes can prevent a truck from being able to stop in time and avoid a crash.

Why should I hire a Texas truck accident lawyer?

If you were rear-ended by an 18-wheeler, you might think your case is straightforward and you don't need legal representation to recover your losses. Unfortunately, these collisions frequently cause major injuries, such as whiplash, back injuries, concussions, and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

The financial impact of a serious injury can add up fast. Your medical bills, vehicle repairs, replacement income, and lost future income if you can’t return to work due to a permanent disability can quickly add up to thousands or more. The trucking companies know this, which is why they waste no time getting their teams of attorneys involved to protect their interests. The best way to level the playing field is to seek experienced legal representation of your own.

At Tracey Fox King & Walters, our truck accident attorneys can protect your rights and fight for the money you rightfully deserve. We have recovered more than $400 million and counting for injury victims in Texas, including many settlements worth more than $1 million for truck accident victims or family members.

Discover what our law firm can do for you. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation to see how a Texas truck accident lawyer can help you. We have offices conveniently located in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.

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