Hi there! I’m Jim Adler, the Texas Hammer, and thanks again for joining us for another one of our frequently asked questions. Today we’re exploring why 18-wheelers are so dangerous.

A lot of drivers don’t like passing an 18-wheeler on the highway, and there’s good reason for that: They are enormous. In a crash with an ordinary car, all that extra size translates into extra force pushing against the car. Because the car is so much smaller, it can’t withstand that force as well as another commercial truck might. Instead, the car gets smashed, and the people inside can be very seriously injured. That’s why big rig crashes kill people far more often than crashes involving two cars, even though there are far more cars on the road.

Another reason large trucks are dangerous has to do with the people who operate them. Trucking is a business, and just like any business, there are people in trucking who will take shortcuts in order to make more money. Unfortunately, a lot of those shortcuts are not safe.

Let’s take the maintenance of the semi truck. The federal government requires trucking companies to follow certain safety rules about how often to service their trucks, because they know a crash with a large truck is dangerous. But if there’s a job to do and the rest of the fleet is already in use, some trucking companies will quietly put a truck that’s not roadworthy back into service. They’re betting that nothing will go wrong. But if it does, someone else pays the price.

Another shortcut has to do with the truck driver’s hours on the road. As with truck maintenance, the federal government has safety rules governing how long truckers may drive, and under what conditions. But trucking companies sometimes pressure drivers to ignore those rules. This includes indirect pressure, like giving drivers less work if they don’t meet unrealistic delivery deadlines. As a result, drivers may drive on too little sleep, use stimulants, drive through dangerous weather and other things they know aren’t safe. If this leads to a crash, the trucking company is likely to be responsible.

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of an 18-wheeler crash that was not your fault, Jim Adler & Associates can help. For more than 40 years, we have hammered insurance companies to get our clients the money they need after an accident. For a free, confidential consultation, call us at 1-800-567-7575 or contact us through our website, jimadler.com.