Motorists on Ohio’s roads often tend to instinctively try to stay away from commercial trucks. The facts bear out this instinct, as trucks cause more than their fair share of accidents.
You may ask yourself why this is the case. After all, should truck drivers not have well-honed skills after logging all those hours on the road? Are there not multiple safety regulations aimed at decreasing the likelihood of a crash?
Several factors can increase danger
The answer is that, in spite of the factors that might increase safety, other countervailing factors work to increase both the likelihood of a crash and the scope of the resulting damage. Some facts about trucks and how they operate simply make them riskier than other vehicles.
Large size blocks view
One of the first things you notice about a truck is its massive size. Unfortunately, if you are driving close to the truck, you do not get a chance to notice much else on the road, as the truck’s bulk is blotting it out. Decreased visibility means you may not see hazards until it is too late.
The truck’s size limits not just your scope of view but also that of its driver. Usually, if you look at the truck’s side mirror and do not see the driver’s face, he or she cannot see you either. A typical big rig’s blind zone extends 20 feet in front, 30 feet in back, and diagonally across neighboring lanes.
Weight makes trucks harder to control
The mass of a truck makes it harder to control and creates longer stopping distances. If a truck does lose control, the resulting impact can create a lot of damage.
Improperly loaded cargo
When cargo is not properly loaded or secured, accidents can happen. Improperly distributed loads can unbalance the truck and make it harder to control. Poorly secured items can come loose and strike other cars.
While truck drivers may have more training and experience, they are also more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation. In addition to simply not getting enough sleep hours (despite regulation), factors such as night driving and conditions such as sleep apnea can lead to fatigue and ultimately result in a crash.