It is often easy to spot a commercial truck in traffic because of how large they are. You may be able to see them from quite a bit down the street. You probably also know to behave differently when there is a large truck near you in traffic, as they could cause a crash that could destroy your vehicle.
The massive size of the commercial truck is one of the major contributing factors to the collisions they do cause. Drivers have to attend special courses and maintain a commercial license to safely drive these massive vehicles.
How does the design of a commercial truck contribute to the overall crash risk that these large vehicles have?
They have large blind spots
The height and length of a commercial truck mean that there are large blind spots where the driver cannot see other vehicles. If you drive in the lanes directly to either side of the trailer or immediately behind the commercial truck, the driver will not be able to see you. They might then initiate a maneuver that causes a wreck because they are not aware of your presence.
They make wide turns
Especially when turning right on a one-lane road, a commercial truck can cause a lot of traffic issues. They often need to pull substantially out into the intersection and will still likely move into other ways of traffic when completing the turn. Vehicles that pull up too close to a commercial truck in an intersection could be at elevated risk of a crash when the vehicle goes to complete a turn.
They take longer to stop
When merging in front of a commercial truck, drivers always need to remain aware of how they take longer to come to a complete stop. Leaving significantly more space between the back of your vehicle in the front of a commercial truck is a smart move. Making sure you travel at the rate of speed or possibly faster than the truck can also help you reduce the chance of the commercial vehicle rear-ending you and causing a catastrophic collision.
Recognizing and respecting the ways that the large size of a commercial vehicle limits its traffic maneuvers could help you avoid a dangerous crash with one of these massive vehicles.