18-Wheeler Accident List of Facts

18-Wheeler Fact List

18-wheelers go by several different names. You have probably heard them all, but they are also known as semis, big rigs, commercial trucks, tractor-trailers, or even semitrailers. These giant machines are an integral part of society as they deliver goods and supplies nationwide. As populations grow, you are guaranteed to see an increase in 18-wheelers in your area since they go hand in hand with supply and demand. Other factors contribute to an increase in semi-activity, like industrial booms. Consider West Texas and the oil industry and how a boom will draw more people and commerce to an area. Most of the work that coincides with oil is done outside of any city limits, yet the major roads used by 18-wheelers will run through the cities of that area. However, you will see an increase in supplies delivered by 18-wheelers to job sites. Because big rigs are everywhere, understanding some facts about them may be helpful. 

  • The average trailer length is 53 feet, and they can haul up to 80,000 lbs of cargo. 18-wheelers can haul longer trailers and carry heavier loads; however, drivers must get special permits and have escorts. The type of permit and amount of escorts can vary depending on the state, total weight, height of the cargo, and length. 
  • Typical 18-wheelers weigh 20 to 30 times more than the average passenger vehicle.
  • A fully loaded semi can take the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop. However, because of the physics of resistance, it can take a longer distance if the roads are smooth, creating less resistance. 
  • The typical lifespan of an 18-wheeler engine is 800,000 miles or more than a passenger vehicle. If you have ever wondered why truck drivers don’t turn off their rigs even when they sleep, they are designed for continuous use. They never have to shut their engine off unless it needs some work. 
  • 18-wheeler engines have 300-400 more horsepower than the average engine of a car, and they also have 900-1,800 feet/pound of torque to carry such heavy loads. With that being said, the engine is roughly six times larger than the one in your car. Because of the sheer size difference, a big rig can create a massive amount of force when it hits an object. 
  • A tractor-trailer needs a minimum of 55 feet to perform a successful U-turn. 
  • A jackknife occurs when the cab of an 18-wheeler is at 45 degrees compared to the trailer. 
  • The most common cause of a jackknife accident is sudden braking. The tractor slows at one speed, and depending on how loaded the trailer is, it will travel faster and cause a jackknife. 

West Texas 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer

Some of the deadliest stretches of road in Texas are in the western part of the state. Cities like Odessa, Pecos, Fort Stockton, Monahans, Seminole, and Andrews are all located in West Texas and have more than their fair share of 18-wheeler wrecks. Anyone who consistently travels down the roads between these cities has probably seen plenty of auto accidents first-hand or has come across the aftermath of one. The vast distances these highways have, with little to no change in scenery, contribute to the increase in deadly 18-wheeler accidents. Drivers on the road for long periods can experience “White Line Fever” or road hypnosis. This phenomenon happens when a person is driving, muscle memory has taken over, and your mind wanders or daydreams. If you have ever driven somewhere and realized that you passed a couple of towns and can’t remember doing so, chances are you have experienced it. Truckers may be professional drivers, but they are not immune to fatigue and other consequences of driving for extended periods. When an 18-wheeler accident happens that involves a passenger vehicle, it’s typically the occupants of the smaller car or truck that bear the brunt of the damages. The difference in mass and height combine to make the physics behind one of these wrecks a truly scary thing to consider. Sadly, this height difference results in smaller vehicles going under the trailer of the 18-wheeler. If a truck driver isn’t paying enough attention and pulls out in front of a car, the results are often devastating, if not deadly.  

Injuries sustained in not just an 18-wheeler accident but any automotive crash have the capability to inflict more stress, problems, pain, and suffering. Consider this: if you get injured on the job, your employer has a responsibility to treat your injuries. Now, whether they do everything that they are required to do is a different story. However, in the aftermath of an 18-wheeler accident, you could find yourself battling with a huge trucking company to get the compensation you deserve. In severe cases, the spouse may have to take up the fight if the victim is incapable of doing so or is deceased. Insurance companies may use the opportunity to try and get you to accept a deal that is not in your best interest. As such, an experienced West Texas personal injury lawyer can help take care of the legal aspects of your case while you focus on important things like recovery and family. 

Odessa 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney

Consider the oil and gas industry in West Texas, as well. Not only is working in refineries or in the extraction and drilling process dangerous, but driving all those distances to and from job sites can be as well. Sometimes, we forget that those drilling rigs and other huge commercial trucks have to move from site to site, bringing supplies and moving products. As such, it’s natural to see an increase in 18-wheeler accidents if there is a rise in the number of rigs on the roads, even outside of oil boom areas. One factor to consider is that if the oil industry is booming, then more and more drivers are needed to transport things. Chances may be that there are more inexperienced truckers on the road than usual during a boom. Everyone has to start a new profession somewhere, but inexperience may lead to more deadly wrecks. 

No matter the reason, one thing is certain: your life can change catastrophically in the blink of an eye when you’re involved in a semi wreck. The Galbreath Law Firm has helped injured Texans get the compensation they deserve for decades. Our firm belief is that everyone deserves the right to legal representation. We use our years of experience and knowledge to fight on your behalf to make sure you get the representation you need. Contact us for a free primary consultation where you can tell us about the details of your accident with no financial obligation on your part. We represent our client’s personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that we do not ask for payment unless there is a favorable result for you as a client. In other words, we don’t get paid unless we bring you a check to the table.