What Makes Trucks More Dangerous Than Cars?

Large truck crashes used to be a constant feature of American highways. Those numbers have generally declined over the last 30 years, though not uniformly.

In 2010, for instance, fatalities in large truck crashes increased by almost nine percent over the year before, an increase seen not only in the occupants of the trucks themselves but also in the occupants of other vehicles and even people not in any vehicle.

Most of the people killed in truck accidents are not occupants of the truck itself. They are riding in other vehicles or are bystanders. Many factors can contribute to a truck accident, including:

  • Bad weather — Trucks are much more susceptible to difficult weather conditions because of their weight and load distribution. They simply cannot maneuver as easily as cars.
  • Driver error — Truck drivers often drive very long shifts and, while they are required to take breaks at regulated intervals, they sometimes fail to do so. Fatigue can lead to diminished judgment and slow response times, not to mention falling asleep at the wheel. Finally, inexperienced drivers more often make mistakes.
  • Unsafe trucks — Trucks are supposed to be subject to regular inspection and drivers are obligated to immediately address any potentially dangerous mechanical or structural issues. But the reality is that such repairs are often put off, leading to dangerous equipment failures.
  • Load weight — A loaded truck weighs many thousands of pounds and hurtles down the road at high speed. That load is necessarily top-heavy so that it is not too long and wide to be on the road. But if it is not loaded correctly or the driver tries to turn too quickly, it can tip over, creating tragedy in its wake.

With regular inspections and regulations for drivers, large trucks are much safer today than they were in the 1980s. Yet dangerous accidents persist for reasons that are inherent in trucks themselves. If you are injured in a truck accident, consult a knowledgeable truck accident attorney to help you discover whether your accident might have been prevented.

Categories: Auto Accidents
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