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Recent crash involving two semi trucks highlights accident risks

Because of their size and weight, it's very important for truck drivers to keep proper stopping distances behind other vehicles. A semi may weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. It's not easy to bring all of that mass to a halt in an emergency. If a truck driver gets distracted and doesn't hit the brakes in time, people in vehicles ahead of the truck are at risk of grave injuries.

2 fuel tankers crash

In a recent case out of Selma, two fuel tankers got into one of these accidents. It happened on US-301, where it meets US-70 Business at the intersection.

One fuel tanker was driving behind another and rear-ended the vehicle in front. Two people suffered injuries as a result. Emergency crews responded and took them both to the hospital for treatment. The latest news reports could not comment on their condition.

Since the accident involved fuel tankers, the Selma Fire Department arrived on the scene to clean up. They diverted traffic, contained the scene and said there were no health concerns for the public. They also took the fuel out of the damaged truck and put it into a new tanker to remove it from the site.

Passenger vehicles

Details on exactly what caused the accident are scarce, but it helps to illustrate a few of the serious risks that come along with semi trucks. This accident only involved two large trucks, and it still resulted in two serious injuries. Had it involved smaller passenger cars, the outcome could have been much worse.

After all, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) notes that the majority of fatalities in large truck accidents are people riding in smaller passenger vehicles -- not truck drivers or their passengers. The main issue is that, with trucks weighing as much as 30 times what these passenger vehicles weigh, the smaller cars incur more damage. Trucks also have a higher ground clearance, meaning that a truck that rear-ends a car can ride right over the top of the car, squishing it.

Your rights after an accident with a large truck

When you have to stop suddenly or even approach a stop sign and you see a large truck coming up behind you, you're justified if you feel nervous. The potential accident is out of your hands. You just have to hope that the driver sees you and stops in time.

If you do get seriously injured, be sure you know what legal steps you should take.

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