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18-wheelers: Dangerous rigs that make a home on the road

On Behalf of The Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer Oct. 6, 2021

If you drive on any highways in your area, then you’ve likely come across 18-wheelers at one time or another. 18-wheelers are large commercial trucks that may weigh up to 80,000 pounds. To make a comparison, the average passenger car is just 3,000 pounds.

It’s not easy to control such a large vehicle, which is why those who drive 18-wheelers have commercial drivers’ licenses. They are educated in handling the cab and trailer, and they learn what to do in the case of a jackknife or dangerous road conditions.

Improved Safety Hasn’t Prevented All 18-Wheeler Collisions

Unfortunately, even with better safety regulations and awareness about the risks of driving or driving around 18-wheelers, crashes with them are still relatively common.

There are a few reasons for this. Some of the most common causes of 18-wheeler collisions include:

  • Driving in the driver’s blind spot, which makes it hard for them to see other vehicles

  • Heavy winds, which may blow the trailer off-course

  • Dangerous road conditions, like slick or slippery surfaces

  • Sudden stops

  • Fatigued driving

  • Reckless driving behaviors

  • Drunk driving

Some additional potential causes of 18-wheeler crashes include:

  • Trucking company negligence

  • Poor truck maintenance

  • Driving without licensing

  • Improperly loaded cargo

As someone who has to be around 18-wheeler trucks at least some of the time, it’s important to know about these common causes and to take action to avoid a collision.

How Can You Avoid a Crash with An 18-Wheeler?

One of the best things you can remember is that the drivers of these large trucks need more space and more time to stop. You want to always be in a position where you can see the driver or their mirrors so that you know that they should be able to see you as well. Additionally, you should always give the driver plenty of time to slow down or stop. That means that you shouldn’t slam on your brakes or weave into a lane unexpectedly.

If you see a truck driver acting unusually on the road, call 911. The police can pull over the driver and make sure everything is okay. Even if everything is fine, it’s better to be safe than to end up in a truck crash.