It is natural for drivers to be nervous when traveling next to a two-trailer truck on the I-49 interchange with 470. After all, the convoluted series of exits require quick maneuvers and multiple lane changes to keep on course, and a cab hauling two trailers won’t have the dexterity and stopping speed of other trucks. But, are they really that much more dangerous than other semis? Are there regulations that can help cut down your chances of a truck accident?
While some trucking advocates say that double trailers are actually safer because they cut down on the number of trips that must be made, researchers have found that the increased risk of multiple trailers outweighs the potential benefit of fewer miles traveled.
Missourians Are Twice as Likely to Be Struck by a Semi Hauling a Double Trailer
According to a study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Washington State, semis hauling multiple trailers are two to three times more likely to be involved in an accident than other heavy trucks. The increased accident risks are due to a combination of factors, including:
- Overall truck length. The maximum configuration for multiple semi-trailers in Missouri are two 28-foot trailers—including load. However, there is no restriction on the overall length of the trailers combined with the cab—and the longer the vehicle is, the more unstable it becomes.
- Compromised steering. When the length of the trailer increases, each steering movement becomes exaggerated as the motion travels down the vehicle. A small twitch of the wheel can quickly become unmanageable, causing the trailers to sway, rock, or roll over.
- Size matters. Controlling all other factors—such as length of journey, size of load, and time of day—larger and heavier trucks were involved in far more accidents than other vehicles. In addition, the study also found that double trailers were even more likely to be involved in an accident when empty, as the lack of cargo weight caused stability problems.
- Driver problems. Of all double-trailer accidents, the likeliest factors in the cause of the crash were driver fatigue (truckers who had been driving for six hours or more), and trucker age (younger drivers were more likely to be involved in a crash).
Have You Been Injured In A Truck Accident?
If you've been injured in a tractor trailer accident you need to speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.