The Dangers Associated with Big Rig Trucks

The Dangers Associated with Big Rig Trucks

There are several different dangerous factors a truck driver must juggle when they take to the open road. Driving a truck is significantly more difficult than driving a passenger car. Eighteen-wheelers are already unwieldy, and while all truck drivers are supposed to be qualified, licensed, and properly trained to handle their vehicle, there are several factors that are often out of anyone’s control. Incidents involving large trucks are frighteningly common, so every motorist should know the different risks associated with sharing the road with trucks.

Blind Spots

Due to their size, big rig trucks have massive blind spots, which can often hide an entire vehicle in the neighboring lane or behind the truck. Especially on older models without electronic sensors, blind spots are one of the most dangerous things a driver will have to deal with. Cars can appear and disappear as they pass the truck, which makes changing lanes or taking freeway exits risky. Every motorist should familiarize themselves with the blind spots of any vehicle he or she intend to pass, to avoid being sideswiped while going 60-70mph.

Brake Failures

With any large vehicle, the brake systems can be more unreliable. The sheer weight of the vehicle, the highway speeds, and downhill roads when traveling across the country can create a dangerous situation that overwhelms the brakes. If the brake line snaps, there is little that the truck driver can do besides trying to use emergency brakes and pulling over safely. Even if the brake lines are not a problem, the brake pads can still be worn down with frequent usage and cause troubling highway situations.

Stopping Distance

Trucks need to begin stopping much sooner than any other vehicle to reduce the momentum and velocity of the truck and heavy cargo. If the driver does not allow for proper stopping distance, whether it is by mistake or because the circumstances do not allow for it (blind corners, hidden stop signs, reckless drivers, et cetera), there can be dire consequences. Gauging the stopping distance can be difficult, especially for new drivers who lack years of trucking experience.

Unsecured Loads

The pin that holds the cargo trailer to the truck is subject to several checks and is greased for turns before any trip, but can still sometimes fail. Additionally, the cargo inside the trailer, if left imbalanced or unsecured, can shift while turning or stopping, which can cause the truck to be imbalanced or wildly move around. Trucks can even roll over if enough of the cargo shifts to one side.


Truckers play an essential role in the American economy, transporting goods overnight and across long distances to keep deliveries efficient. However, excessive road time can take a toll. There are several safety precautions in place to keep drivers alert, but some employers bend the rules and force them to drive when they are tired. Drivers might be sleep-deprived as they try to make their delivery times and fatigued driving often leads to crashes.

Other Common Dangers With Big Rigs

Tire blowouts happen more frequently when the tires are traveling over long distances, which increases the wear on the treads and makes it more dangerous if they drive over glass, nails, or other debris.

Trucks often cannot stop on slick roads, whether that involves sliding on an ice sheet or hydroplaning in a rainstorm. The same variables that affect every motorist will affect truck drivers even more, because they have much less control and mobility when compared to a typical sedan or SUV.

Even other drivers can pose a risk when driving near a large truck. Other motorists might be either too cautious or too aggressive, which can affect not only the actions of the trucker, but that of other drivers as well.

Call Jan Dils When You Are Injured by a Big Rig on the Road

If you or someone you know has been involved in a collision with a big rig, contact our experienced truck accident attorneys today. Commercial truck drivers have different insurance coverage and regulations, which can have an impact on your Personal Injury claim. Jan Dils has been handling these types of cases for over 25 years, so schedule a free consultation and learn what might be possible in your situation.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law