Empty Loads can Lead to Semi Truck Accidents
We know that a fully loaded semi truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. That much mass exhibits quite the force in a semi truck accident.
But we must also consider the dangers of a truck that isn’t loaded. Whether the driver is pulling an empty trailer, or running “bobtail” without a trailer at all, semi truck accidents can still happen and be just as dangerous.
Four Causes of Semi Truck Accidents when No Load is Being Hauled
The issues with an unloaded semi, isn’t that the vehicle itself is more dangerous, it’s actually that the driver has gotten too used to hauling a load. When the truck handles differently now, it causes problems.
Weather Issues When you’re not Loaded
We’ve seen fully loaded semis whipping down the road in a rainstorm. The rest of us have to take it slow as our tires aren’t gripping the road quite as well. But with all that weight, the semi doesn’t have a problem maintaining traction.
But drop the load, and the truck isn’t nearly as heavy anymore. That traction is diminished, and an inexperienced driver may not know to slow down enough to keep from skidding out.
Of course, if there’s still a trailer attached, high winds can be a big issue as well. Even stopped a truck can be blown over if the wind speeds pick up enough (check out this YouTube video of that very thing happening).
Stopping Issues When you’re not Loaded
Stopping seems to be an issue when a big heavy truck is rolling along. But drop that weight, and stopping can be an issue too.
If you have ever stomped on the brakes, you know that your vehicle can stop pretty quickly. Bigger vehicles, with more mass behind them, take longer to stop. Something that a truck driver has become accustomed to, using a little heavier foot on the brake to slow that big truck down when it needs to be slowed.
Take all that weight off, and the brakes work a little better. That heavy foot can end up causing the truck to stop faster than expected. Vehicles following behind aren’t expecting a sudden stop, and rear end collisions occur.
Steering Issues When you’re not Loaded
Consider the weight distribution of a semi truck. When you look at one without a trailer, there’s not much on the rear wheels, but a big heavy engine over the front.
Toss a trailer on there, and a lot of the weight is sitting on the back wheels.
An inexperienced driver gets used to the weight more evenly distributed, on the front from the engine and the back from the trailer.
Without that load, however, the rear wheels aren’t as heavy, and when the driver isn’t paying attention, that can cause a semi truck accident as the big rig skids during a turn.
Schedule Issues When you’re not Loaded
Our final scenario isn’t necessarily that the truck is handling differently, but rather that the driver is driving differently.
When a truck runs empty, it’s not making any money. Ideally a driver would drop a load, and pick up a new one at the same location (or at least close by). When the pickup point is far away from the drop point, though, it’s a matter of getting there as quickly as possible.
Semi truck accidents happen when drivers are trying to get to the next spot too quickly. Speed leads to mistakes, and mistakes lead to injury or death.
Herbert Law Group Understand Semi Truck Accidents
Whether you’re the victim of a fully loaded semi truck, or one that is running empty, you deserve compensation that will remove the financial stress from your life.
There’s a lot that goes into a semi truck accident. A lot that you may not even consider if you’re going up against an insurance company by yourself.