Truck Accident Crash Dynamics

There are many differences between standard passenger vehicles and commercial freight trucks that can make an accident involving the latter much more dangerous. The most obvious difference is size and weight, but there are many different factors, and each one contributes to the probability and seriousness of an accident in different ways. Our Virginia truck accident injury lawyers are experienced with the crash dynamics of truck accidents and can work with you to understand how you were injured and how you should be compensated.

Crash Dynamics That Contribute To The Danger Of A Crash

The sheer mass of a truck is the number one factor in how much damage it can do. The more mass an object has, the more force it can transmit to anything it hits. Think about hitting a wall with a standard hammer versus a sledgehammer. If your car is struck by a tractor-trailer, the amount of force, and therefore the potential for damage, is much higher than with a standard car crash.

Also, the size difference between a big-rig and a standard vehicle can contribute to the damage. If two cars of the same approximate size collide, usually their bumpers will align. In the same situation with a large truck, that may not be the case, and the extra safety feature bumpers provide may be negated. This dynamic can be extremely dangerous if it is the standard vehicle rear-ending the truck, as a phenomenon called underriding can occur, where the car actually goes under the trailer. Underride collisions almost always result in catastrophic injuries and frequently are the cause of truck accident fatalities.

Crash Dynamics That Contribute To The Probability Of A Crash

Size and weight can contribute to the probability of a crash by making trucks harder to control, but there are many other factors truck drivers have to deal with, such as cargo considerations, center of gravity, and the connection between the trailer and the actual truck.

Cargo Considerations

The dynamics involved in how cargo is loaded and in how it moves on the road can contribute to an accident. Some specific issues include:

  • Unbalanced loading (too much weight to the front, the back, or either side)
  • Load shifting on the road (this can be complicated if the cargo is liquid)
  • Overloading (too much total weight in the trailer)

Center of Gravity

Tractor-trailers are much taller than standard vehicles, so they also have a higher center of gravity. A higher center of gravity makes them more susceptible to rollover accidents. These risks can increase at higher speeds, on curves in the road, or in bad weather.

Tractor-Trailer Connection

Standard vehicles are made of a single metal frame, but large freight trucks are actually two objects linked together. The connection between the tractor (the cab, with the engine and driver) and the trailer (what holds the cargo) represents yet another complication when it comes to truck accident crash dynamics. One of the most common complications of this type is jackknifing, where the trailer part of the truck swings around and is no longer properly aligned behind the tractor. Not only does this occurrence make the vehicle extremely difficult to control, but it can also create an accident involving multiple lanes of traffic.

Contacting A Truck Accident Injury Lawyer

Contacting a legal team that understands and has experience with truck accident crash dynamics can make the difference when it comes to winning your case. Our lawyers will apply their knowledge to recreate what happened to you on the road and establish the liability of the driver or company. Consultations are free, so do not hesitate to call now.