Many people understand that a semi truck accident is always a serious incident, but they aren’t always aware of the sheer magnitude of what happens in one. Even with stories of multiple deaths and day-long road closures that follow major accidents, people just don’t realize that sharing the road with a semi truck is sharing the road with an inherently dangerous and deadly machine.

Consider a recent accident in Wisconsin as an example of the forces involved here. Last Friday a semi, being driven by a 24-year-old man, flipped over and went into a ditch. Both the truck and its cargo trailer were destroyed by the accident. Not damaged, not broken, but destroyed. Authorities say that the truck was going around a curve in the road on the highway when the driver lost control and rolled the vehicle down the embankment. The vehicle and its cargo trailer were both deemed a total loss after the accident due to the damage done in the rollover. Amazingly, the driver was not hurt in the incident.

So, if a semi truck has the ability to tear itself apart in a rollover, to the point that the vehicle cannot possibly be salvaged, what chance does a smaller passenger vehicle have? What can someone in a family car expect if there is an accident involving them and a tractor-trailer?

These trucks aren’t just big, they’re orders of magnitude larger than the cars around them, outweighing them by more than the total weight of the other vehicles nearby. What if someone had been in between the semi truck and the side of the road as it began to roll over?

Trucking accident victims have a very real case to make in incidents like this. This was not an unavoidable fault in equipment, and no one else was driving recklessly — the whole case was driver error, and it isn’t hard to imagine how much worse it could have been for other motorists.