The nervousness people feel about traveling near commercial trucks is almost instinctual. Although humans have only operated motor vehicles for a few generations, their brains can instantly tell that a taller, heavier vehicle is a major safety concern in traffic. Information from collisions validates that natural fear response that many people have.
Wrecks that occur between a commercial vehicle and a smaller passenger vehicle are often some of the worst collisions in terms of costs and consequences. The smaller vehicle may no longer be safe to drive, and its occupants could suffer life-altering injuries. Drivers who understand what causes those terrible commercial crashes might have an easier time avoiding them in the future.
Mistakes by other drivers
Those in smaller passenger vehicles frequently do the wrong thing in traffic and cause a crash. The effects of their mistake can be far worse when the closest vehicle to them in traffic is a semi-truck. There are several ways that someone in a four-wheel vehicle could contribute to a crash involving a commercial vehicle. Driving in the blind zones around a commercial truck is one example. Merging too closely in front of a commercial truck could also lead to a preventable collision. Failing to give adequate space at intersections where trucks may need to make wide turns could also potentially lead to a preventable wreck.
Mistakes by commercial drivers
Often, collisions between passenger vehicles and big trucks are the direct fault of the commercial driver. According to an analysis of such collisions, making the wrong decision for traffic conditions is the top mistake made by commercial motorists. Many other crashes occur because they fail to recognize changes in traffic in time or they become unable to perform their jobs, possibly due to a medical emergency while working. Some commercial crashes are the fault of the truck driver’s employer because of improper employment or vehicle maintenance practices. Thankfully, large commercial liability policies typically apply with the bigger vehicle is the one to blame for a car-truck collision.
Learning about and attempting to avoid the biggest risk factors for semi-truck collisions may help reduce the overall risk of harm for those traveling in passenger vehicles on modern roads.