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Passenger vehicle drivers: Be careful around big rigs

No matter what road you're driving on, eventually you'll encounter a big rig. Maybe you call them semitrucks or 18-wheelers. Whatever you call them, they're dangerous. In fact, the majority of people who die in semitruck crashes are not the occupants of the big rigs, but the occupants of the passenger vehicles involved in the crashes.

Here are some of the most significant dangers:

Semitrucks are heavy

Big rigs weigh in at 20 to 30 times the weight of the average passenger vehicle. This means they have a massive crushing capacity compared to other cars.

18-wheelers are higher off the ground

Since semitrucks are higher up off the ground than normal cars, many crashes with passenger vehicles involve a car that rides up under the semitruck, which results in catastrophic consequences for the vehicle occupants.

Tractor-trailers are more likely to be in crashes

Not only are semitrucks more dangerous to get into a crash with, they're also more likely to get into crashes. A semitruck is slower moving, less agile and cannot brake as fast as other vehicle. It takes between 20 and 40 percent longer for a semitruck to come to a full stop than it does a passenger car. If you combine this with poorly maintained brakes and slippery road conditions, you have a recipe for disaster.

18-wheeler drivers are often fatigued

Truck drivers are working long hours and sometimes they're so sleepy that they fall asleep behind the wheel or have slower reaction times.

The above special factors and the unique rules and regulations that apply to semitruck accidents must be considered when evaluating a semitruck accident case. In certain 18-wheeler accidents, if the right factual evidence exists, injured vehicle passengers may want to investigate their ability to seek financial restitution from an at-fault semitruck driver in court.

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