Any type of head-on collision is traumatic, as they almost always involve significant blunt force impact and as a result, severe injuries. When this type of crash involves a large commercial vehicle, the consequences can be catastrophic and are often fatal, especially for the occupants of the smaller car.
Why are Semi-Trucks So Dangerous?
Understanding the sheer size and weight of commercial vehicles is critical to appreciating how much damage they can cause in an accident. Technically, to qualify as a large truck, a vehicle must weigh 10,000 pounds, which is more than two and a half times the weight of most passenger vehicles. Most semi-trucks, however, weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds and are between 70 and 80 feet long. The size of these vehicles makes encountering them on the road a daunting prospect, especially because, as a result of their massive size large trucks:
- Take twice as long to come to a complete stop;
- Take a lot longer to turn;
- Take up more room when turning;
- Are more prone to certain types of crashes, including rollover accidents; and
- Have bigger blind spots, which makes it almost impossible to see smaller vehicles in certain situations.
These factors all make semi-trucks a lot more dangerous than other vehicles when it comes to car accidents. This is doubly true for head-on collisions, which are often fatal.
Head-on crashes can happen anywhere. There are, however, certain areas where they are more likely to occur, including:
- Non-divided highways, which lack a barrier between lanes, making it easier for drivers to drift or cross into another lane;
- Narrow roadways, which leave little room for other motorists to pass;
- Curves, as trucks require a lot more room to maneuver, meaning that they often drift into opposite lanes of traffic when turning; and
- One way streets and freeway entrances.
Head-on collisions that occur, in these areas, and in other places on the roadway are often the result of negligence, such as falling asleep at the wheel or driving while distracted.
How Head-On Accidents Happen
For a head-on crash to occur, one of the motorists must have been driving in the wrong direction. In most cases, drivers don’t do this voluntarily, but do so as a result of:
- Driver error and a lack of familiarity with the area;
- Poor weather conditions;
- Distracted driving;
- Driver fatigue, which is especially common amongst truck drivers, who must work long hours, often driving through the night;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which reduces a driver’s reaction time and impairs his or her judgment;
- A medical emergency, such as a seizure or heart attack, which can cause a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle, crossing into oncoming traffic;
- A lack of visibility due to inclement weather or poor eyesight; and
- Mechanical failure, such as tire and brake failure, both of which are relatively common in large trucks because of the amount of wear and tear they experience.
When this type of negligence causes a fatal head-on truck accident, the at-fault party can be held liable for the resulting damages. This could include not only the negligent truck driver, but also the trucking company that employed the driver, the company that owns the truck, a vehicle part manufacturer, or even another driver. Wrongful death damages often include compensation for the deceased’s final medical bills, lost income and benefits, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and funeral and burial costs. While no amount of monetary reimbursement can compensate a family for the untimely loss of a loved one, recovering damages can help grieving loved ones stay financially afloat, while they attempt to hold the at-fault parties accountable for their negligence.
Compassionate and Experienced Miami Wrongful Death Lawyers
Truck accidents, especially catastrophic ones like head-on collisions, cause tremendous pain and devastating losses for the parties involved. If you or a loved one are dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of losing a relative in such a crash, the last thing you should be worrying about is how you will cover your medical bills and household expenses while you grieve your loss. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our dedicated Miami wrongful death lawyers can help pursue financial compensation through the legal system on your behalf while you focus on recovery. Feel free to set up an initial consultation (at no charge) by calling 305-371-2692. You can also reach us 24 hours a day via online message.