Physics Of Tractor Trailer Driving

The enormous size and weight of tractor trailers makes them very imposing vehicles to drive alongside on the highway. These same factors also make the truck driver’s job more complicated as he has to account for the size of his truck in every maneuver he makes in order to avoid a tractor trailer wreck.

A tractor trailer’s average length is between 70 and 80 feet long. As you can imagine, this makes every turn a challenge. Tractor trailers don’t have nearly the same turning radius as a passenger car and drivers must calculate whether the road they are on is wide enough to make a safe turn. It takes an experienced driver to make these turns safely, but accidents do still happen. That is why you see labels on the back of trailers warning about wide turns. Many tractor trailer accidents have occurred as a result of a passenger car moving too close to a tractor trailer as it was trying to make a turn.

The weight of a tractor trailer also contributes to injury accidents as heavier trucks are harder to stop and cause more damage when an accident occurs. The legal limit for a truck’s weight is 80,000 lbs. The average car only weighs about 5,000 lbs. To help control this extra weight, tractor trailers have been fitted with numerous powerful braking systems, but it still takes 40% longer to stop a tractor trailer as it does a passenger car traveling at the same speed.

If the driver doesn’t know how to turn properly or is forced to brake hard, he may also force his tractor trailer into a jackknife. If the cab turns at a 45 degree angle in relation to the trailer then a jackknife is almost unavoidable as the weight of the trailer will push forward and lock the two halves in a folded position similar to an open pocket knife, hence the term jackknife.

With all these complicating factors, it takes an experienced driver and a trucking company devoted to safety to avoid potentially fatal 18 wheeler crashes. Unfortunately, not all companies follow federal guidelines and some operate their vehicles with dangerous negligence. These companies must be held accountable to make the roads safer for everyone. If you or a loved one has been involved in a tractor trailer accident, call a Missouri truck accident lawyer to learn your rights and have him look over your case.

January 2nd, 2010 by Ryan E. Bradley

Ryan Bradley is a trial lawyer and owner of The Bradley Law Firm. He specializes in catastrophic personal injury ad wrongful death cases.

Our Results

Our Personal Injury Attorneys have proudly collected TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars in compensation for clients. Below are some of our recent personal injury case results.

$30M Sexual Assault
$14.25M Motorcyle Crash
$10.5M Fatal Wreck
$4M Product Liability
$4M Wrongful Death
$2M 18-Wheeler Wreck
$2M Wrongful Death Trucking Crash
$2M Wrongful Death Tractor Trailer
$1.7M Van Crash
$1M Truck Crash
$1M 18-Wheeler Wreck
$321K Auto Crash
$300K Motorcycle Wreck
$300K SUV Wreck
$225K Truck Crash

View All Results →


What Our Clients Are Saying

"Overall, I had a great experience working with The Bradley Law Firm!! I would recommend Ryan and his team to anyone. Being involved in a car accident can be quite stressful and dealing with insurance companies can be even more stressful. Having Ryan in my corner lifted a huge burden off my shoulders and made this process much easier for me. They handled everything. Tina is great…she is awesome! She’s extremely patient and kept me informed throughout the entire process. The Bradley Law Firm team is very personable, easy to talk to, and a pleasure to work with."


St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer

Our Results

Our Personal Injury Attorneys have proudly collected TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars in compensation for clients.

St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer

Our Mission

It is our mission to ensure you receive a maximum recovery for all of your damages, to the fullest extent under the law.


We Maintain the Highest Possible Ratings from Professional Organizations


Contact the Bradley Law Firm

St. Louis

1424 Washington Ave
Suite #300
St. Louis, MO 63103


google map

Kansas City, Missouri

107 W. 9th Street
2nd Floor
Kansas City, MO 64105


google map
Our FirmPractice AreasContact UsSitemap

St. Louis Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by The Bradley Law Firm, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee upon the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation. This site is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Missouri or Illinois. The Bradley Law Firm may co-counsel or associate with other law firms around the country at its discretion from initial intake through litigation when it deems appropriate.

Follow Us on Social Media

Image Image Image
314-293-5753, 314-470-1786, 314-668-9253

© 2018, The Bradley Law Firm.

Bradley Law Firm Bradley Law Firm 1424 Washington Ave., #300 St. Louis, MO 63103 314-400-0000 Prices Vary St Louis Personal Injury Lawyer - 5 stars - based on 46 reviews