The sheer size of tractor-trailers increases the risk of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists who share the road with them. However, several factors can contribute to the risk of a jackknifed truck, which frequently has devasting consequences in Alabama. If you sustained injuries in a collision with a big rig, proving liability is critical.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Alabama’s laws governing truck weight and size exceed federal laws in several areas. Trailers can weigh up to 84,000 pounds on six-axle trucks. The trailers can also measure up to 57 feet, as long as they adhere to the required distance from the kingpin to the center of tandems. However, due to the large size, mishaps that occur may cause catastrophic injuries.
Semi-truck trailers are longer and taller than they are wide, making the center of gravity higher than most cars and trucks on the road. As a result, rollovers happen more frequently with big rigs than other vehicles. Cargo should have tiedowns, wedges, cradles or dunnage bags that help prevent it from shifting. When commercial trucks take curves or try to stop too quickly, improperly loaded cargo can shift, making the trailer prone to tipping.
Factors such as the lack of a rear-view mirror and the truck’s length and height can cause it to have more numerous and more prominent blind spots than a passenger vehicle. Although the drastic height difference can help the driver see farther ahead than other drivers, he may not see cars beside him. If you cannot see the side mirrors on a big truck when behind it, the driver probably cannot see you.
If you believe a negligent truck driver contributed to your accident and severe injuries, it is critical that you gather the information necessary to determine the facts quickly.