Thousands of big rig accidents occur in the U.S. every year, many of them deadly. Unfortunately, most big rig crashes result in serious or fatal injuries, along with significant damage to vehicles and property.
In comparison to accidents that involve only passenger vehicles, big rig wrecks can be much more destructive. Why is this? Continue reading and learn how this has much to do with how the laws of physics apply during these incidents.
How Do the Laws of Physics Apply in Traffic Accidents?
Physics is the study of matter and energy and how it relates to us and the world around us. As for traffic accidents, the applicable laws of physics affect everything from how long it takes a vehicle to stop once a driver applies the brakes to the amount of damage caused to involved vehicles .
Considering the many factors involved in physics, it is easy to explain how and why some accidents result in less damage and fewer or less serious injuries, while others result in more damage and more serious injuries.
Physics And Big Rigs
The larger and heavier an object is and the higher its center of gravity, the more the object will be affected by the laws of physics. This is a critical fact that is illustrated every day in disastrous big rig accidents that leave people seriously injured and cause massive destruction to vehicles.
Larger and heavier objects produce greater forward momentum when traveling at a high speed. The force of gravity acting against them can easily unbalance taller objects with a higher center of gravity. Vehicle length also affects visibility and the size and length of blind spots around the vehicle. This all comes into play during big rig crashes, where heavy trucks often cause more damage than an average passenger vehicle.
Big Rigs And The Forces of Gravity
Tractor trailers involved in big rig wrecks are extremely heavy, some weighing as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. Most are at least 70 to 80 feet long. They are more than 25 times the weight of most cars and 4 to 5 times the length. Tractor trailers are also taller than the average passenger vehicle, with a higher and less stable center of gravity.
When factored together, these attributes mean that the heavy trucks involved in big rig accidents experience the laws of physics to a much greater degree than smaller, lighter, and shorter passenger vehicles.
As a result, the 40 tons of weight traveling at a high rate of speed requires a much greater force to stop it. When big rig crashes happen, passenger vehicles are no match for the force momentum and weight that collides with them. Heavier and taller trucks are also more likely to tip and roll over going around curves due to the forces of gravity acting upon them.
When these details are combined with a truck's inherent large blind spots, it is easy to understand how and why most big rig wrecks are dangerous and cause serious or fatal injuries to those involved. The amount of force by which a passenger vehicle is struck in such an event is catastrophic in comparison to being struck by a similarly sized passenger sedan.
Regardless of whether they happen due to driver distraction, mechanical failure, or some other reason, big rig accidents are dissimilar to any other vehicle accident. Big rig crashes are more likely to cause serious or fatal injuries to those involved because of their weight, size, and height. Physics helps to explain exactly why and how big rig wrecks can be so deadly!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 410-5810