We’ve all seen them—the big, lumbering giants of the interstate. They carry our goods across the state lines. And because of them, our grocery shelves are (almost) always stocked. But how much do we really know about semi trucks? 

For starters, you may not have known that the modern semi truck first hit America’s roads in 1899. And that the first semi truck carried cars as cargo! But what about today’s trucks? And more importantly, what happens when you are involved in an accident with one?

In this post, you’ll learn four facts you may not have known about semi trucks. As a bonus, you’ll discover some tips for the aftermath of a semi truck accident. 

Facts About Semi Trucks

When you look at a semi truck, you may think you know everything there is to know about the vehicle. It’s big, and it has eighteen wheels. What more could there be? 

Turns out, there’s a lot more to know. As promised, here are four little-known facts about semi trucks:

1. The Industry Is Heavily Regulated

The trucking industry is heavily regulated – not just by one organization alone. Instead, truck drivers must adhere to regulations put in place by federal, state, and local governments. This is because semi trucks are so big and so numerous that protocols need to be put in place for the safety of the public. 

2. They Weigh a Lot

You probably know that semi trucks are heavy. But odds are, you didn’t know just how heavy they can be. 

When a semi truck is carrying at its maximum capacity, it can weigh upwards of 80,000 lbs! That’s quite a bit more than the average weight of a standard car, which is around 3,000 lbs

This extreme weight difference means that semi truck collisions can be deadly, especially for the occupants of smaller vehicles. Semi trucks are also harder to drive and stop because of this excess weight. 

3. There’s Currently a Driver Shortage

Trucking is a necessary industry, which is good for those who are looking for steady work. But because of the long hours and the health challenges of driving a big rig, driver retention is reportedly low. This fact is only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, according to NPR, the trucking industry is currently short more than 68,000 drivers

4. Their Engines Are Designed to Run Nonstop

You probably know that semi trucks run on diesel fuel. But did you know that’s because diesel fuel is more efficient than gasoline? It’s true—in fact, a gallon of diesel allows a vehicle to travel 30% farther than a gallon of gasoline.

Obviously, semi trucks are among the largest vehicles on the road, so using diesel fuel to power their engines is the more economical choice. Diesel engines are designed to run virtually nonstop, even though that’s not exactly recommended. Still, extended duty cycles seem to be the industry norm. 

How to Handle a Semi Truck Collision

Now you know more about the semi trucks you pass on the freeway. And hopefully, you know to be even more cautious when you’re sharing the road with a big rig. Still, accidents happen to even the most cautious of drivers.

If you become involved in a semi truck collision, seek medical attention right away. Even if you feel fine at the scene, it’s worth taking the time to seek an expert’s opinion. Many injuries, like whiplash, don’t present until hours or days later.

After you’ve seen a doctor, call an attorney. If the truck driver was at fault for your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for any damages you incur.

Contact Our Truck Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth truck accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 420-7000