Truck Accidents: Why Trucks Are So Dangerous

June 13th, 2016 by Patrick Hogan

The trucking industry is essential to the nation’s economy. The reason comes down to one simple fact: bulk overland transport of goods is only possible by either railroad or truck, and the multiple destinations requiring these goods aren’t reachable by railroad. We need trucking. Unfortunately, large trucks also share the roads with the driving public and subject them to great risk. Why are they so dangerous? Here are three reasons:

Trucks Are Heavy

Semi trucks are about 20 times heavier than cars. When the two meet in a collision, the smaller car sustains the most damage and its occupants are more likely to be injured or killed than the truck driver.

Another problem with their enormous weight is that they require greater braking distances to come to a complete stop than cars. When a truck tailgates you or other vehicles nearby, it’s a cause for concern because a sudden traffic slowdown may result in the truck rear ending the vehicle in front. Their heavy weight also means they accelerate slowly, which may endanger traffic they pull out in front of or attempt to merge with.

Trucks Are Tall

This makes them unstable compared to cars. Improper trailer loading makes the problem worse when top-heavy cargo shifts and causes the truck to overturn or lose control. Trucks are more vulnerable to rollovers from wind gusts, hard cornering, and swerving.

Many bridges and overpasses don’t have enough height clearance for trucks to pass underneath. Truck drivers may use GPS devices meant for cars, which don’t take height clearances into account. This reliance on the wrong types of GPS, and failing to notice warning signs has caused serious truck accidents that sometimes involve the traffic behind the truck. The tops of trailers are often sheared off and in some rare cases, the bridge knocked down.

Trucks Are Long

Their length (as well as their height) creates huge blind spots called “no zones” both in front and behind, as well as on either side of the truck. Truck drivers are supposed to pay attention to traffic entering and leaving these blind spots. They are also supposed to signal in advance and change lanes gradually. Sometimes this doesn’t happen. This length also makes them poorly suited to drive safely among cars on smaller roads. Their turns require wide swings that may catch motorists off guard.

If a truck accident injured you or a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for related losses. Contact us for a free consultation.

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