Thousands of road users in Virginia and around the country are killed or seriously injured in truck accidents each year. Semi-tractor trailers pose a threat because they are more than 70 feet long, can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and have large blind spots. When a large truck or bus strikes a car, pickup truck or SUV at highway speeds, the passenger vehicle occupants often suffer traumatic brain injuries or serious back or neck injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries
Some of the most debilitating truck accident injuries are caused by blunt head trauma. Passenger vehicle occupants can also suffer concussions when the forces of a collision cause their heads to move rapidly forward and backward. When this happens, the brain can strike the inside of the skull with enough force to cause damage. X-rays and CT scans do not provide enough detail to identify brain lesions, so emergency room doctors usually order more sophisticated brain imaging tests to diagnose these injuries.
Back and neck injuries
The violent forces passenger vehicle occupants are subjected to in a commercial vehicle accident can twist the back and cause the cartilage discs that act as the spinal cord’s shock absorbers to bulge or herniate. When this happens, nerves are pinched because there is less space between the vertebrae. A slipped or herniated disc can be extremely painful and make even simple movements very difficult, which is why truck accident victims who suffer them are often awarded significant damages when they file personal injury lawsuits.
Avoiding truck accidents
Collisions with vehicles that can weigh up to 40 tons often lead to catastrophic injuries for passenger vehicle occupants. Semi-tractor trailers take longer to stop than passenger vehicles and have large bind spots, so drivers who want to avoid accidents and injures should give them plenty of room.