There’s no denying that most vehicle accidents can be very dangerous. But few pose the same level of danger and threat as a collision involving a commercial truck. Most people have some understanding of just how dangerous these truck collisions are, but few know the exact reasons why they’re so hazardous to drivers of other vehicles on the road. In this guide, you’ll learn the reasons why.
# 1 – Size & Weight of Commercial Trucks
One of the first and most significant reasons that these accidents are so dangerous is their sheer size and weight. A commercial truck can reach a width of eight feet, a length of 25-30 feet, and a gross combined weight (tractor + trailer) of 80,000 pounds or more. In contrast, an average car weighs just over 3,000 pounds.
# 2 – Driving Conditions for Commercial Trucks
When most people think of trucks on the roads, they imagine them driving in daylight on clear, dry highways. But this is rarely the case. Many commercial truck drivers drive at night or during rain and snowstorms to keep their cargo safe and secure. Moreover, many drivers have to get their trucks from depot to depot without a break, which can also increase the chances of an accident happening.
# 3 – Lack of Sleep & Fatigue in Truck Drivers
Perhaps one of the most dangerous aspects of commercial truck accidents is that they’re often caused by driver fatigue or sleep deprivation. This is due to the long hours and harsh working conditions of truck drivers, who routinely travel across multiple time zones and often forget to take rests in between.
# 4 – Inconsistent Behavior from Truck Drivers
In addition to fatigue, commercial truck drivers also tend to may have inconsistent driving behavior that makes accidents more likely. This is because large trucks can take much longer to come to a complete stop than cars, which can make it challenging for other drivers to anticipate what they will do next.
# 5 – Inconsistent Road Conditions
Commercial trucks are typically only found on major highways and interstates that have been properly maintained. But when they’re forced onto local roads or roadways with poor conditions, their large size and weight can make it difficult for them to maintain control, even for the most experienced drivers.
# 6 – Lack of Protection for Drivers of Smaller Vehicles
Another reason why commercial truck accidents are so dangerous is that there’s very little protection for smaller vehicles if they’re involved in an accident with a large truck. This is because trucks have two sets of wheels on each side, which allows them to carry extremely heavy loads. However, when a collision happens with another vehicle it can result in their complete loss of control and very serious injuries or fatalities.
# 7 – Speed of Collisions
The speed at which accidents involving commercial trucks tend to happen also plays a major role in how dangerous they are. Most accidents happen between 30-60 mph, which can quickly lead to serious injuries due to the sheer force that’s created when these vehicles collide with other large objects.
Understanding the reasons why commercial truck accidents are so dangerous can help you better prepare for these kinds of collisions if you’re ever unlucky enough to be involved in one. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact a commercial truck accident attorney and let them help you receive the compensation you are likely owed, as there’s no reason why you should have to shoulder the financial burden of another driver’s negligence.