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|Semi-Truck / Commercial Vehicle
Traffic Accident Reconstruction Expert
Semi-truck accidents are particularly dangerous because they often involve collisions between vehicles of such great
disparity. Commercial vehicles can routinely weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while the average passenger car only weighs about
4,000 pounds. As can be expected, a collision between these two types of vehicles can be disastrous for the smaller vehicle,
even at relatively low speeds.
Commercial vehicles can be equipped with a wide variety of braking systems, from S-cam air brakes, which utilize air
pressure, to anti-lock brake system (ABS) equipped tractors and electronically controlled braking system (EBS) equipped
trailers. Each configuration produces distinctly different drag factors, or braking efficiencies.
Since semi-trucks are unique motor vehicles, they require equally distinctive accident reconstruction techniques.
Accidents between commercial vehicles and passenger cars are often a result of dangerous driving on the part of the car
driver. Drivers will often change lanes abruptly or turn in front of a semi-truck, expecting the commercial vehicle to yield.
Semi-trucks, however, do not possess the same level of maneuverability as passenger cars. They generally accelerate,
steer, and brake at a slower rate than cars, making it sometimes difficult to avoid collisions with other aggressive drivers.
This does not mean that commercial vehicle drivers are always exempt of fault for a collision. Semi-truck drivers can also be
negligent when driving.
Validation testing by accident reconstructionists has shown that commercial vehicles cannot stop as well as passenger cars.
Therefore, even a minor speed infraction on the part of the semi-truck can have grave results.
Still other semi-drivers fail to follow proper lookout when approaching intersections or merge without checking their blind
spots, also called No-Zones, where the commercial truck driver has limited or zero visibility.
Regardless of the specific collision, Crash Data Services, LLC has accident reconstruction experts available to identify the
causes of semi-truck accidents.
On occasion, intentional disablement or failure of a portion of a commercial vehicle's brakes can occur. In those
cases, when a semi-truck driver attempts a panic stop, the commercial vehicle may not react as anticipated. The
above illustration depicts a panic stop without front brakes on the semi-truck. The vehicle begins to spin out or
yaw as the rear brakes try to slow the vehicle. Our accident reconstructionists are experienced with commercial
vehicle behavior and reactionary assessment.
The reconstruction of traffic
accidents between commercial
vehicles and passenger cars often
involves the assessment of blind
spots or No-Zones.
In the above illustration, the blue car
has entered one of the semi-truck's
no-zones, making it difficult for the
commercial vehicle driver to see the
Many states, including Illinois, have
special size and weigh restrictions
for commercial vehicles.
To learn more about Illinois'
semi-truck restrictions, click here
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opinion and should not be construed as such. The use of this site does not create a contractor/client relationship with any employee of Crash Data Services, LLC. Each investigation is different. Case
results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case. The results of any investigation/reconstruction do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case undertaken by Crash Data Services,
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