Tips for Sharing the Road with Semi Tractor Trailers

At Young and Young we, as Indiana Severe Injury Lawyers, we like to keep abreast of what is happening out on our roads.  Our roads are a modern marvel.  They allow us to travel across our great country in a couple days.  They allow us to transport huge amounts of goods across our country.  They allow us the opportunity to, if necessary, move vast amounts of defense equipment rapidly to respond to any emergency.  However, with these benefits comes danger.  We drive small passenger cars next to huge semi tractor-trailers all the while travelling at speeds between 55 and 80 miles per hour.

Some of the dangers associated with semi tractor-trailers are obvious.  A significant danger, if not the biggest danger has to do with the law of gross tonnage.  This law, generally speaking, states that the vehicle with the highest gross tonnage is going to win in a collision with another vehicle.  Obviously semi tractor-trailers weigh a great deal more than a standard passenger car.  As such, in a collision, the most damage will be done to the car.  As a result most damage will be done to the passengers in the car.  Serious and severe injuries often result, such a broken bones, spinal cord injury, brain injury and even wrongful death.

Other dangers with semi tractor-trailers are not so obvious.  Take for instance a curve in a highway.  Specifically, we are talking about curves that change the direction of travel more than 25 degrees.  One of Newton’s rules of physics is at work on these curves.  That rule is that things in motion want to travel in a straight line.  So, A semi tractor-trailer travelling around a curve will always want to go straight.  So if you are driving a passenger car on the right side of a semi tractor-trailer which is travelling on a left direction curve, the truck’s natural path is to its right, into you and your car.  A corollary to this is that the truck traveling on that left curve will, if it tips at all, tip onto its right side and onto your car.

The point of this whole discussion is, do not travel on a curve on the outside of a semi tractor-trailer.  Zip ahead, or lay back and wait for the curve to end, then continue on your way.  We hope this helps you and your family stay just a little bit safer on the roads.

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