No two car crashes are exactly alike. The make and model of the vehicles involved will differ. The speed and direction of travel of the vehicles will also differ. Factors ranging from the weather to the surface of the road can also influence exactly what happens during a crash.
Despite how different all crashes are, there are certain things many motor vehicle collisions have in common, ranging from the availability of liability insurance to the legal requirements for the people involved.
Collisions that involve a commercial truck are often significantly different than collisions between two passenger vehicles. What makes commercial truck crashes different than passenger vehicle wrecks?
The difference in vehicle size
A semi-truck is several times larger and heavier than a passenger vehicle. Although there can be a significant discrepancy between a small hybrid vehicle and a large SUV, the gap between even the biggest passenger vehicle and a semi-truck is much larger.
The risk for catastrophic injuries and a totaled vehicle is significantly higher when a passenger vehicle collides with a commercial vehicle rather than another car or van.
The insurance available
Motor vehicle liability coverage is often far lower than the total costs created by a collision. Many people hurt in car crashes find themselves scrambling for financial resources and worried about money because low coverage policies that barely comply with state law could leave them with tens of thousands of dollars in bills.
Thankfully, most commercial vehicles are subject to higher requirements for liability insurance. Any vehicle that travels on an interstate basis will typically have at least $750,000 worth of insurance. That will cover a lot more than a basic passenger vehicle policy with $25,000 worth of coverage.
The designation of fault
Commercial vehicles are more difficult to operate and require more care and skill from the professional drivers at the wheel than passenger vehicles do. However, those in passenger vehicles also need to be aware of the limitations of commercial trucks and adjust their driving around them accordingly.
Maneuvers that may not lead to a designation of fault in a crash with another passenger vehicle could end up making you the one at fault after a crash with a commercial vehicle. Drivers need to understand how to be safe around semi-trucks, like giving them plenty of space.
They also need to know their rights, like the option of making an insurance claim against that large, commercial policy. Learning more about commercial trucking crashes can help those negatively affected by a recent collision.