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How Heavy are 18-Wheelers

What Happens when a Car and a Semi-Truck Collide at High Speed?

Semi-trucks are some of the largest vehicles you will see on the roads. They are a pivotal part of what makes America work because they transport approximately 70% of all the freight throughout the United States every single year. That comes out to just about $671 billion of freight traveling through the country to various destinations annually. In addition, the United States also does just under $300 billion in truck trade with its neighbors to the north, Canada, along with $195.6 billion with those in the south, Mexico.

In short, the trucking industry is big business. Not only are truckers essential for getting manufactured and retail goods from place to place, but the industry also provides jobs for many Americans. There are an estimated close to nine million people that work in some capacity in the trucking industry. This includes those that are truck drivers and other occupations like warehouse workers.

It is likely that if you have ever driven, then you have driven by a large semi-truck at some point. As demand for goods increases, so does the need for qualified truckers to get the goods to the consumer. At a minimum, there are 15 million trucks transporting cargo around the country.

While the trucking industry provides the country with vital logistics and transportation services, when an accident happens between one of these massive vehicles and another car, the destruction is often catastrophic. Truck accidents happen in Florida and all around the nation.  In 2017 alone there were 4,102 deaths that resulted from accidents where a truck was involved.

Are Large Truck Accidents a Problem in Florida?

How Heavy are 18-WheelersWhile there are more accidents involving smaller vehicles that happen every year that can cause incredible destruction than there are large truck accidents, the amount of devastation that a large truck accident can cause tends to be considerable. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that in 2020 that there were 29 fatalities and there were as high as 1,289 injuries that resulted from accidents with medium to heavy trucks. This category describes trucks that weigh at least 10,000 pounds and more.

If you were harmed in a large truck accident in Florida, the Jacksonville truck accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates can help you seek justice and obtain compensation for your damages. The aftermath of a large truck accident can be life-changing for victims. From injuries that are debilitating and disabling to deadly, truck accidents can cause major annihilation.

How Large are 18-Wheeler Trucks?

One of the reasons that there is so much destruction when an 18-wheeler truck is involved in a crash is size. Semi-trucks are large indeed, but how massive are they? The answer is, it varies. This is because there is a difference in weight depending on when a commercial truck is fully loaded with cargo or when it does not have a trailer.

The portion of the truck that contains the cab and the engine, the truck tractor, weighs about 25,000 pounds. So just seeing a truck that is not carrying cargo, this is already a significant amount of weight barreling down the highway.

Once a loaded trailer is added to the semi-truck, the weight can skyrocket to as high as 80,000 pounds or more. The weight that a truck is legally allowed to weigh varies by region. But for federal interstate highways, 80,000 pounds is acceptable. 

The weight of a truck with a full haul is quite immense. This is specifically true if you compare it to the weight of your average personal car which can come in at most, around 5,000 pounds. That is, a full commercial truck can weigh 16 times more than the heaviest sedans.

Why Are Trucks Weighed During Travel?

The weight of a truck is important to the government. First, there are federal guidelines and rules by locality regarding how much weight is allowed to travel on various roadways. Weighing a truck ensures that it falls within the acceptable specifications set by the government. The reason that the government puts limits on weight is a matter of safety. If trucks are overloaded, they can be dangerous to the public.

The weight of a truck is also necessary for tax purposes. States will assess a tax on goods that travel through based on weight. The taxes are necessary to keep the roads in good condition. The weight of heavy trucks traveling about causes significant wear and tear on the roads. The taxes help fund maintenance efforts.

Florida has several weight stations. There are 41 such stations throughout the state to weigh semi-trucks. When weigh stations are open, a trucker must stop. Failure to do so can result in fines which can be very expensive totaling hundreds to thousands of dollars. Depending on the state, jail time may take place for the driver along with revocation of their CDL license. 

Not to mention, when punitive actions are taken against the driver, this extends the amount of time it will take to get the cargo to its intended destination. For truckers, being efficient and getting to various locations by the established deadline is critical. The negative implications of missing deadlines and being late can create a costly situation for a trucker. Additionally, doing so can jeopardize relationships with businesses that are expecting their shipment to show up on time.

Speak to a Jacksonville Truck Accident Attorney Today

As you can see, the size of an 18-wheeler truck is huge, especially when compared to most other vehicles on the road. The crushing ruination a truck can inflict on smaller vehicles can be extensive.

Figuring out which parties are liable for paying victims for their damages can be challenging with commercial trucks because there can be more than one party that is culpable. Once the right parties are identified, then collecting enough financial compensation to cover all losses is the next objective.

For help with your Florida personal injury claim, the Jacksonville personal injury attorneys at Sheftall Law can meet with you during a free consultation. Call The Law Offices of Sheftall & Associates to schedule yours today at (904) 638-7712.