There are thousands of potential dangers that drivers need to account for on the road. From distracted drivers to pedestrians, every surrounding factor can cause serious accidents that leave individuals fighting for their lives. However, certain hazards like semi-trucks stand out from the rest. With their massive size and weight, these vehicles often pose the greatest risk to those driving near them. Yet, few drivers understand exactly why this is the case. Here’s why semi-trucks are dangerous on the road and how you can protect yourself when driving near one.
Larger Blind Spots
All vehicles have some form of blind spot along their perimeters that prevents drivers from seeing everything that’s around them. And the larger a machine is, the larger its blind spots are as well. Semi-trucks create especially large vision gaps due to the trailers hitched to their backs. These keep drivers from seeing directly behind them and partially obscure the road on either side of their cabin. Thus, staying out of these areas is crucial to keeping yourself safe.
Wider Turn Angles
Due to their long trailers, semi-trucks also make wider turns than standard cars. By increasing the turn radius and moving slowly, there’s less risk of the vehicle losing its balance. Unfortunately, though, this can still be dangerous to cars nearby because of how much space they take up in intersections in the process. So, you must keep your distance if you see a truck signaling a turn.
Another reason why semi-trucks are dangerous on the road has to do with the materials they typically transport. Since trucks often move large quantities of items, they tend to be incredibly heavy. It’s this weight that adds more danger to a collision, as these trucks have the potential to cause much more damage than average vehicles. Some materials even present hazards on their own, such as chemicals or large pieces of scrap metal.
Potentially Fatigued Drivers
However, one of the biggest reasons driving near a truck can be risky is the typical condition of drivers themselves. Trucking professionals spend a large amount of time on the road. In fact, their trips can be several days long, depending on the haul. Because of this, it’s common for truck drivers to suffer from fatigue at the wheel, which slows their awareness and general response time.
As a result, while the chances of getting into a collision with a semi-truck are slim, driving near one is clearly risky. Victims in these cases often even file for compensation following the incident due to their severity. Therefore, you must remain vigilant when driving near a truck and know when to maneuver yourself out of harm’s way.