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Richmond Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Truck Accident / Reasons for Deadly Tractor-Trailer Collisions

Reasons for Deadly Tractor-Trailer Collisions


Large trucks routinely drive through and around Richmond, picking up and delivering goods on routes along I-95 and I-64, not to mention local stops in the Richmond area. While tractor-trailers are responsible for ensuring that consumers have access to many of the products they rely upon, these vehicles are also disproportionately responsible for deadly crashes in Virginia and throughout the country. Indeed, the National Safety Council (NSC) indicates that large trucks only account for about 5 percent of all registered road vehicles but account for 9 percent of all fatal collisions.

According to a recent report from Forbes, data shows that large truck crashes have been on the rise in recent years, and large truck collisions increased by about 26 percent between 2020 and 2021. Trucks classified as tractor-trailers are those that are most likely to be involved in a fatal collision. Why are tractor-trailers in so many deadly collisions involving smaller passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, and pedestrians? Our Richmond truck accident lawyers can tell you more.

Understanding Tractor-Trailer Features

 In order to understand some of the most common reasons that tractor-trailer accidents are often deadly, it is important to learn more about the features of tractor-trailers, or semi-trucks with trailers. According to the Forbes report, these types of vehicles are “defined as a truck and trailer combination without a front axle,” and they are responsible for more than 50 percent of all fatal truck crashes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also explains that, given the way these vehicles are constructed and put together, they “often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars,” and they also “are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes.” In addition, trucks need to begin braking much sooner than passenger vehicles to come to a stop, and the IIHS clarifies that when a tractor-trailer is loaded, it needs “20 to 40 percent more distance than cars to stop,” and even more on slick roads.

Causes of Fatal Trucking Crashes in Richmond

 Now that you have a better understanding of the reasons that collisions involving tractor-trailers are so dangerous and deadly to smaller vehicle occupants and others on the road, it is important to understand the causes of these crashes so that you can determine liability and file a claim. The following are common causes of fatal tractor-trailer crashes:

  • Truck driver negligence;
  • Negligent loading of the trailer;
  • Negligent truck maintenance;
  • Truck defects;
  • Roadway hazards; and
  • Inclement weather.

Contact a Richmond Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawyer Today 

Were you injured in a trucking collision in the Richmond area, or was someone you love killed in a devastating truck accident? The experienced Richmond truck accident attorneys at Latham & Martin know how catastrophic tractor-trailer crashes can be, and we are committed to helping injury victims and their families in seeking compensation for losses. It is important to remember that more than one party may be liable for damages in a tractor-trailer crash even if the accident resulted from the truck driver’s negligence. Contact us today to find out more about how employers, truck owners, truck loaders, and other parties may be responsible for paying damages in your case.





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