The trucking industry serves as the pulse of keeping the country going. Unfortunately, those big rigs create added risk on the roads for a number of reasons.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, occupants of other vehicles accounted for 68% of the 4,714 people who died in large truck crashes in 2021. Along with the concerns any driver faces, such as distracted driving and speeding, trucks come with some hidden dangers easily forgotten.
1. Multiple blind spots
Big rigs have that name for a reason. Their large size leads to numerous blind spots, which puts smaller vehicles on the road at a higher risk. The eight of the trucks create blind spots in the front, on each side, and in the rear.
2. Maintenance issues
Although the federal government has strict inspection standards, some companies may let some things slide. Considering that a loaded semi-truck could weigh 80,000 pounds, any malfunction could have devastating effects. Faulty parts also play a role in issues on the road, which commonly affect the tires and brake system.
3. Improperly loaded trailers
Manufacturers design trucks and trailers to safely handle specific weights. Going over that limit may lead to a rollover as well as making it much more difficult for the driver to maneuver and stop easily. Loading trucks the wrong way also creates the potential danger of flying debris or hazardous materials spilling out.
While Americans need the goods that truck drivers carry, the increased reliance on the trucking industry means more trucks on the road and added risk for all drivers.