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How dangerous are trucks on the roads?

While traveling on the roads in the Pittsburgh area, or anywhere in the United States, you may be sharing the roads with dangerous vehicles that you generally take for granted -- trucks. Trucks play a vital role in the American economy. Whenever you enter a grocery store, department store, furniture store or appliance store, more likely than not, everything under the store's roof was delivered via truck.

Semi-trucks are typically far larger and heavier than a vast majority of passenger cars. While we know our own car's limitations when it comes to accelerating, braking, turning, changing lanes and even swerving to avoid a hazard on the road, unless you have experience driving trucks, you likely do not know how much more difficult it is for them to navigate the roads.

The basic laws of physics tell us that a truck, with its significant size and weight, takes longer to accelerate and slow down or stop, and is not as agile on the road when it comes to changing lanes or swerving to avoid an accident. In addition, truck drivers have their own set of unique challenges on the road including blind spots, as well as vulnerabilities to bad weather such as road pooling, crosswinds and the potential of jackknifing.

Trucks cause thousands of fatal accidents on the roads each year in the U.S., including the Pittsburgh area. Although you may take all necessary precautions whenever you venture out on the roads, it is difficult to account for the actions or inactions of other drivers. An accident can occur to anyone at any time, and considering that truck accidents often lead to far more serious and catastrophic results, it is important to recognize these dangers on the road and proceed with caution whenever you share the roads with trucks.

Source: FindLaw, "Truck Accident Overview," Accessed June 5, 2017

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