For many of us, driving a car is uneventful. We get inside, get comfortable and go where we need to go. Because driving is so routine, it can be easy to forget that motor vehicles are powerful machines capable of causing extreme damage. They are built to be fast and tough, making them more dangerous than people might realize.
And some vehicles are especially dangerous—vehicles like commercial trucks.
According to statistics from the National Safety Council, thousands of crashes involve a semi-truck every year. And when a truck crashes with other vehicles, it is the people in the other cars that are injured more than 70 percent of the time.
There are several reasons why commercial truck accidents are so dangerous.
- Trucks are huge. The size of a commercial truck makes them capable of doing catastrophic damage. An 18-wheeler can easily crush smaller vehicles. And if they overturn, trucks can block off multiple lanes of traffic. Further, they can be hauling tens of thousands of pounds of cargo that can spill in an accident and endanger others.
- They are complicated to operate. A person must have proper licensing and training to drive a commercial vehicle lawfully, as they are more complicated machines than a passenger vehicle. Tractor-trailers take a long time to speed up and slow down, they have huge blind spots and they can be difficult to maneuver while turning. When parties fail to operate a truck correctly, they can easily crash.
- There are dangerous truckers. Just as there are unsafe car drivers, there are unsafe commercial drivers, as well. Truckers might drive while they are drunk, drugged or drowsy, or they may not have the necessary clearance to drive. These parties may not be fit to drive a truck safely.
- They are vulnerable to the elements. Certain elements affect commercial trucks more than other motor vehicles. Everything from high winds to winding roads can make it all but impossible for a trucker to avoid an accident, while these same conditions may have little or no impact on other motorists.
Because of these elements, commercial vehicles like semi-trucks can be difficult to drive and incredibly destructive in an accident. Thus, victims should know they have the right to consult an attorney regarding their option to pursue compensation from a negligent party.