Heavy trucks are not just a larger version of a passenger car. Understanding what can make semis so dangerous can help you avoid serious accidents on the road. Large trucks are involved in as much as one-tenth of highway deaths. There are a few major reasons for this.
The fact that 18-wheelers are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles contributes both to the frequency of crashes and to their severity. The size of the trucks can obstruct visibility, both for vehicles behind it and for the driver of the truck. When accidents do occur, the weight of the truck increases its momentum, making it harder for the driver to regain control. When it does hit another car, the damage is far greater than that from a passenger vehicle impact.
The size and length of the truck also make it harder to handle. As a result, trucks sometimes spin out of control on a turn or a lane change. Unlike a smaller vehicle, a swerving or skidding truck has little chance of regaining control.
Another contributing factor is the grueling workload of the truck drivers, many of who are on the road for hours. In spite of several regulations that require breaks and limit continuous driving hours, many drivers take on additional work because they face pressure from their bosses. Fatigue can lead to dozing off behind the wheel, increased dis traction levels and slowed reaction time. All of these can cause accidents.
Not all companies comply with maintenance regulations. Failing to regularly inspect and repair crucial elements such as brakes, tires, lights and engines can result in unexpected failure on the road. At times, cargo is also not properly stored. This can cause spills that, in the best case, block the road and cause delays. In the worst case, loose cargo can hit other cars and even cause explosions.
Passenger car drivers are regularly advised to keep their distance from large trucks. The reason for this is that they take a long time to come to a full stop. In addition, they have large blind spots that prevent the drivers from seeing vehicles behind them.
Truck accidents are likelier to have serious consequences, including devastating injuries. In addition, many of these accidents result from a lack of compliance by truck companies with relevant laws and regulations. If you have been in a car crash with a truck involved, speak with an attorney who can help you explore your options and figure out the best course of action.