An automobile accident is always a potential disaster. This is especially true when one of the vehicles involved is a tractor-trailer, also known as a “semi” or “18-wheeler.” Whereas the average car weighs between 2,500 and 4,000 pounds, a fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs – over twenty times as massive! This means that for a given rate of acceleration, a fully-loaded tractor-trailer hits with over twenty times the force of a normal car.
The potential for death, injury, and property damage resulting from an accident is much greater when a tractor-trailer is involved. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fatal crash rate for large trucks is 2.4 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled – more than 50 percent greater than the rate for all vehicles on the roads. In 2008, 4,229 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks — about 75% of whom were occupants of other vehicles — and many thousands more were injured.
Because of the nature of tractor-trailer accidents, it is important to hire an attorney well-versed in the intricacies of the law as it relates to tractor-trailers. At Kessler, DiGiovanni & Jesuele, we have handled tractor-trailer accidents for more than 40 years.