Sharing the road with massive commercial trucks is just a fact of modern life. The vast majority of consumer products, as well as raw materials and other supplies, get shipped around the United States by big rigs. Trucking is a major industry, offering a living wage to those who can drive safely for long hours every day.
Sadly, with so many large vehicles on the road, some people in passenger vehicles get hurt or killed every day in the United States. Trucks may help keep our country running, but they also increase the risk of a crash on the road. This is especially true when commercial drivers text behind the wheel, drink or do drugs or continue driving when tired. Of course, certain design elements of trucks also create risk to the public as well.
Large sizes mean that there are major blind spots
One of the biggest risk factors for people in passenger vehicles who share the road with commercial vehicles is the potential for the big rig driver not to be able to see the smaller one. This risk is related to the large blind spots on all four sides of semitrucks. Inadequate visual fields of truck drivers can be fatal for those in smaller vehicles. The big truck could completely crush or drive over the top of the smaller passenger vehicle, with tragic results.
Your best option for avoiding a blind-spot related crash is to avoid them. Drivers to the left of trucks should avoid driving beside the trailers at all. Those driving in the right lanes should also avoid the area next to a truck’s trailer, staying either behind the truck or in front of it. People behind a truck should give at least 30 feet of space between their bumper and the rear underride guard on the truck. Those in front of a truck should stay at least 20 feet ahead at all times.
Wide turns can also result in preventable crashes
One of the more brilliant aspects of modern trucking is the ability of these vehicles to drop a load by separating from a trailer and to quickly attach and haul another. However, the same mechanism that allows for this flexibility and efficiency can also sometimes cause crashes.
The point of connection between the cab and trailer is the only place the vehicle bends. That can mean that trucks make very wide turns at intersections. They can easily crash into vehicles in either lane next to them or those on perpendicular roads waiting to proceed through.
Any collision with a commercial truck could result in serious injuries, major property damage and even death. In the wake of this kind of crash — especially in cases where it’s clear the driver of the truck is to blame — victims should educate themselves about their rights and options to pursue compensation for financial losses.