Trucking accidents account for thousands of injuries annually in the United States, and for seemingly obvious reasons—tractor-trailers, commonly referred to as semi-trucks, are substantially larger and heavier than any other vehicles on the road. Their size alone gives truck drivers limited visibility, and when other drivers fail to appreciate the truck’s size and weight, accidents can happen. Even if the driver of a smaller vehicle is found partially responsible for a trucking accident, an injured driver may still be entitled to compensation under New Hampshire law.
TRUCKING IN THE NORTHEASTERN STATES
Trucks in the northeast carrying cargo are unique from others in the country as they are much more likely to cross state lines. States are smaller and closer together in the northeast than anywhere else in the country, and each state’s department of transportation is responsible for regulating the weight and size limits of their trucks in their state, though there are maximum federal regulations as well.
Truckers must strictly comply with these laws when going across state lines and when they fail to do so, the drivers and the companies they work for may be found responsible for accidents or injuries they cause. Despite compelling evidence that the weight standards for trucks should be reexamined on our roadways, it does not appear that things are changing anytime soon, placing more responsibility on all drivers to be vigilant when driving alongside their larger vehicle counterparts.
Another aspect that makes New Hampshire a unique state for trucking accidents is the climate. This winter, the northeast is seeing particularly cold temperatures, hitting lows in many nearby cities. Snow, ice, rain, and other conditions leading to poor visibility and less-than-ideal road conditions are often contributing factors to trucking related accidents as well. Consider the following:
Pursuant to federal law, a truck can weigh up to 80,000 and operate on our roadways anywhere in the country. The average car weighs around 4,000 pounds for comparison.
This weight discrepancy can lead to great distances in stopping/braking times. Trucks can also be up to fourteen feet high, where most vehicles range from four to six and a half feet depending on their make and model.
This height difference can account for visibility issues for truck and non-truck drivers alike—making it difficult for truck drivers to see other drivers and for non-truck drivers to pass safely.
These factors alone contribute to many of the trucking accidents we see on our roadways. The best thing drivers can do is to drive particularly cautiously around trucks and larger vehicles to ensure their safety. Never assume another driver sees you, do not drive in blind spots, and always leave extra distance in front and around when you when driving near large vehicles, especially in adverse conditions.
KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE TRUCKING ACCIDENT LAWYER
Victims of trucking accidents often have extremely severe injuries that necessitate long-term care. These accidents can have a devastating effect on the personal, emotional, financial, and physical health of the victim and require effective legal representation in order to achieve success in the courtroom in litigating these often complicated matters. Charles A. Donahue of Donahue Law is an experienced New Hampshire trucking accident attorney who has worked to successfully negotiate settlements and take matters to trial on behalf of his clients. Contact him to learn more about your legal option if you or a loved one has been involved in a trucking accident at (603) 357-2363.