If you've driven or ridden as a passenger in any vehicle in recent years, you've likely noticed the increasing presence of massive commercial trucks. These so-called big rigs take up a lot of space on the road and travel across the country. There's no doubt that companies depend on commercial trucks to get supplies and products from one place to another. There's also no question that these vehicles create a massive amount of risk for everyone else on the road.
Like other drivers, truck drivers can make bad decisions. They can get behind the wheel while under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs. They can choose to drink and drive. They may decide to text while driving or otherwise indulge in distraction. They choose to drive when they know they are tired. These actions are risky enough when someone driving a passenger vehicle does them. When the person making these questionable decisions is behind the wheel of a massive commercial truck, the consequences can be tragic.
Commercial trucks simply don't maneuver that well
Due to their massive size and the way that that the trailer attaches to the cab, commercial trucks move in a much different manner than smaller vehicles. These differences can increase the risk of a serious collision. Their sizes makes it harder for them to stop and accelerate quickly. When they turn, they often cut into other lanes. They also have massive blind spots on either side of their trailer and behind the vehicle.
These limitations mean that commercial truckers can't respond to sudden changes in traffic as quickly as those in smaller vehicles. If someone cuts them off or traffic comes to a sudden stop, the trucker may not be able to stop the vehicle before hitting someone else.
Big trucks can cause really big injuries
If you've ever witnessed the aftermath of a collision between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, you understand how serious these crashes can be. The discrepancy in size and weight means that the smaller vehicle will often take the brunt of damage in these crashes. In many cases, the passenger vehicle could end up completely destroyed, while the commercial truck sustains very little visible damage.
Severe, life-altering injuries can result from these collisions. Broken bones, amputated or lost limbs, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and more can affect the people in the smaller vehicle. The truck driver has menial risk of injury or death in these crashes. Roughly 97 percent of the people who died in crashes between a commercial truck and passenger vehicle in 2016 were the people in the smaller vehicle.
Those who suffer injuries or lose a loved one because of neglect, wrongful actions or poor driving decisions made by a commercial truck driver should explore their options for compensation and justice.