Ways that commercial trucks create danger on the road

Most people who drive or ride on public roads understand that there's an element of risk. No matter how safely someone drives, there are weather issues and the potential for sudden vehicular issues.

As a result, most people engage in risk management on the road. They slow down when the weather is bad. They avoid driving late at night, when drunks may be on the road after last call. They even give extra space to commercial trucks on the road.

All of this is smart, but nothing you can do can completely eliminate the risk posed by commercial trucks. There are more of them on the road every year, and, as a result, there are more accidents happening as well. Understanding the kinds of accidents involving semitrucks and other commercial vehicles can help you do your best to avoid them.

Commercial trucks have limited maneuvering

Compared with the average passenger vehicle, commercial trucks have a much harder time moving on the road. They take longer times and greater distances to stop, and they often complete wide turns that make intersections a nightmare. These issues are a natural result of the size and weight of commercial trucks. Any place where a truck may turn or need to suddenly stop is probably a location with increased risk of collisions.

There is also the issue of limited visibility. Between their length and how high they are off the road, there's a perfect storm of blind spots around trucks. Unless they have special, extra mirrors, truck drivers may struggle to see vehicles riding on either side of their trailers. They may also not see vehicles directly behind them.

Blocking lanes of traffic

Whether turning or just driving, commercial vehicles take up a lot of space on the road. Depending on the layout of the road, this could be a perfect scenario for an accident. If a driver on a road comes around a curve to find a truck starting a very slow turn or having jackknifed across all lanes, a collision could result.

Jackknifed trucks pose a risk of multi-car pileups, especially at night, in bad weather and near curves or hills in the road. When truckers lose control of a vehicle, it could end up blocking all the lanes of a highway or both lanes of a road.

Exhaustion and compromised skill

The federal government limits how long truckers can drive in what are called the Hours of Service rules. These laws are in place to reduce exhausted driving, which contributes to many collisions each year.

Truck drivers are also as susceptible as everyone else to getting distracted or making a bad decision before getting behind the wheel. Driving after taking certain medications, while texting or talking on the phone, or after a few drinks could end in a deadly crash.

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