It is common to see dozens of large trucks traveling on nearby highways and interstates every day as part of your regular commute. These trucks are an essential part of the North American supply chain, delivering common goods to local stores and shops to meet consumer demand.
But these trucks, if not properly operated, can also represent a significant safety risk to motorists who share the roads with them. If drivers are negligent, or if trucks are in disrepair or if companies that own the trucks disregard safety regulations, these trucks can be dangerous and deadly on the road.
The number of trucks on the road continues to increase, with Canada recording 324,200 truck drivers in 2021, up from 300,000 a year earlier, according to Injured.ca. The massive size of the trucks these drivers take on the road makes them more dangerous, along with the large loads they can carry that weigh tens of thousands of pounds. An accident with one of these trucks can result in significant damage and catastrophic injuries, even death.
Motorists need to pay attention to the road around them and be particularly vigilant around large trucks, particularly those carrying large loads. Here are some of the most common accidents these large trucks are involved in while traveling North American highways and interstates.
This type of accident typically happens when a truck driver hits the brakes hard and suddenly on a big rig. This can lead to the cab of the truck sliding into a 90-degree angle with the truck’s trailer. The heavily loaded trailer is slammed against the cab as the weight being carried shifts inside the trailer.
The height of these big trucks, along with the heavy loads they carry, can lead to a rollover at times when the driver loses control of the vehicle. The truck will slide, tip over on its side and roll, sometimes colliding with nearby vehicles during the accident. These types of accidents can occur during stormy weather.
These big trucks have numerous wheels, in many cases 18 wheels. When those tires blowout, this can make the truck difficult to maneuver. Some drivers will lose control of the truck, while others may be able to navigate to a shoulder. Even if the blowouts do not lead to a loss of control, the tires or remnants can fly off the truck and collide with other vehicles on the highway or cause accidents as vehicles try to avoid the big rubber pieces of the tire.
Another major cause of accidents is the shifting or loss of a load on a big truck. This lost load can collide with other vehicles on the road. A load that has not been properly secured can also cause an imbalance that can lead to the loss of control of the truck by the driver.
Some less experienced truck drivers will attempt to swing the big rig through a wide turn, at times blocking or colliding with nearby traffic or even pedestrians that the driver never saw. These turns can also trap adjacent vehicles and pedestrians.
The sudden and complete stop of a big truck can be disastrous for vehicles traveling behind it. Such abrupt stops can leave little time for the driver in the vehicle behind the truck to react. In some cases, smaller vehicles traveling behind the truck can slam right under the truck’s trailer. These accidents can be fatal for passengers in the smaller vehicle.