Lexington Double Trailer Truck Accidents AttorneyDouble trailer, or tandem, trucks are some of the longest vehicles you will encounter on Kentucky roads and highways.
These two trailers, pulled by a semi-truck, present many challenges to their drivers and to those of us driving around them who just want to get to our destinations safely. For too many people, those trips don’t end safely and the double trailer driver, and/or the owner of the truck, is at fault.
These are very big trucks. The first trailer is generally 28 to 40 feet long, with the second trailer being 28 feet long. The trucking industry late last year failed to have the federal government allow the use of even longer trailers and force all states to permit their use, according to American Shipper.
There are currently 38 states who don’t allow tandem tractor trailers on their roads.
Trucking companies see higher efficiency and lower costs with these trucks since nearly twice as many goods can be hauled at the same time by one truck and one driver on a single trip. Given the difficulty of safely driving these enormous trucks through traffic on roadways not designed for them, especially if the driver is inexperienced, distracted or fatigued, the chances of an accident occurring are all too good.
Recent accidents involving tandem trucks include these:
- A motorcyclist was killed on the New York Thruway
- A tandem tractor-trailer driver lost control of the vehicle, with the second trailer overturning, in a construction zone in Pennsylvania
- A FedEx tandem hauling ammunition started hydroplaning, lost control and burst into flames in Texas, causing an accident that blocked an interstate highway for eight hours
- Another FedEx tandem truck was involved in an accident that killed the 22 year old driver of a vehicle in New York.
To give you an idea of the potential damage an out-of-control tandem truck can do, check out this video.
There are many possible causes of a tandem trailer accident.
- There is a high risk the truck will become unstable. Small steering movements and corrections, including lane changes, are magnified by the second trailer, which can get out of control.
- There may be an exaggerated sway and then a rollover of the second trailer.
- These double trailer trucks are more dangerous and more likely to crash if one or both trailers is empty or only partially loaded. Balance issues become worse if the weight of cargo isn’t stabilizing the vehicle.
Other issues that drivers of these trucks face include:
- Bigger blind spots due to the extra length of the truck
- Given that extra length, the truck is more vulnerable to high winds’ throwing the trailers off balance
- Extra weight due to the second trailer while the truck doesn’t have extra power to tow it
- Due to the extra weight, the trucks have longer braking distances, making it more likely to rear-end another vehicle
- Sudden, sharp turns are more likely to cause the rear trailer to tip
- A sudden maneuver or braking can cause the trailers to jackknife
- Due to the relative rarity of these trucks and high rates of turnover, the driver may lack experience or training
- Shifting loads can be especially dangerous given that tandems are already more unstable than standard semi-trucks
- Roadway defects.
Double-trailer trucks create a larger “crash footprint” than single-trailer semi-trucks. If a driver loses control and the trailers jackknife or become separated, there is a larger hazard zone for other vehicles.
- Two trailers separated or overturned, with their contents filling the roadway, causes a far greater risk of secondary accidents.
- Cleaning up a tandem accident site can take longer, creating longer delays and increasing the chances of accidents involving vehicles stuck in the resulting traffic jam.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a double trailer truck, call Attorney Julie Butcher. For more than 25 years she has been representing clients injured in commercial truck accidents. She is one of only a few attorneys in Kentucky who belong to a professional association that is dedicated to helping the victims of truck accidents and to preventing future accidents — the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.
Statutes of limitations apply in truck accident cases, and if you wait too long and too much time passes before a legal action is filed, your case may be dismissed without the facts ever being brought up in court. Act now and contact our office so we can learn about the accident, your situation, how the law may apply and your best options to protect your legal rights and obtain compensation for your injuries.