Semi-trucks play an important role in our society. They carry goods from place to place, helping our economy thrive. Yet, despite their benefits, these massive vehicles can also pose serious safety risks. When improperly driven or maintained, a big rig can become a force of devastation, leaving cars and lives destroyed.

One reason it is so important for semi-trucks to be maintained and driven properly is that their sheer size means that they need additional time and distance to safely come to a stop. While a car may be up to 18 feet long and weigh somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds, a semi-truck may be up to 65 feet long and weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

Therefore, when traveling at 65 miles per hour, a semi-truck will need 525 feet to come to a stop. A car traveling at the same speed, however, will only need 316 feet. This means it will take a truck more than the length of two additional football fields to come to a stop when compared to a car. This lengthy distance for trucks can, of course, be aggravated if conditions are bad, a driver is fatigued, or the truck in improperly maintained.

Louisiana residents who are hurt in a truck accident may be left with a lot to deal with. They may have physical pain and suffering to cope with, medical expenses that must be paid, and their lost wages due to missed work may render it difficult to make ends meet. However, if a truck wreck is caused by a negligent trucker or a poorly maintained truck, then it may be possible for a victim to recover compensation via a personal injury lawsuit. Filing a claim based on a serious injury can be complicated, though, so it may be best for a victim to consider discussing the matter with an experienced Louisiana attorney.

Source: UDOT, “Trucks Need More Time to Stop,” accessed on July 19, 2015