The high number of road accidents remains a serious problem across America. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a total of 32,719 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes during the year 2013. About 3,000 of these victims died in accidents involving large trucks. These numbers point to a rather disturbing trend involving the larger vehicles motorists are usually sharing the road with. As the IIHS puts it, about 1 in 10 highway fatalities occur because of large truck accidents. Considering the way that these trucks overpower all other types of vehicles, it’s easy to surmise why these incidents result in outcomes that are so tragic and devastating.
As one can imagine, any collision between a large truck and a smaller vehicle can easily turn to a catastrophic scenario. Large trucks like 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers can weigh around 20 to 30 times more than regular passenger cars. These vehicles are also much larger and have greater ground clearance. This makes large trucks much harder to control and maneuver. Due to its weight, a truck will require a longer distance before being able to come to a full stop. Its sheer size also gives a truck more blind spots or no-zones.
As a result, truck operators are not able to see the vehicles surrounding them easily. Experienced drivers are trained to keep a safe distance from other vehicles and keep an eye out on these no-zones. However, a slight mistake can easily have some deadly consequences. In some of the worst cases, cars can slide beneath a truck. The consequences can become even more severe when large trucks hit motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians.
Aside from no-zones, the website of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm also points to other factors that commonly contribute to large truck accidents. According to their experience, accidents can also occur due to fatigue or distracted driving, as well as improper training. Trucks carrying improper or overweight load are also more susceptible to accidents. In some cases, truck accidents are also caused by vehicles that don’t receive proper maintenance and upkeep.