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Home > Articles > The Truth about Large Trucks

The Truth about Large Trucks

Large commercial trucks such as 18-wheelers make important contributions to the US economy. Many companies find that such vehicles are one of the best ways to quickly ship freight across the country. Of course, there are many factors that make these trucks a danger to other drivers. Consider the following facts on the characteristics of 18-wheelers:

  • Most 18-wheelers are limited to a combined truck, trailer, and load weight of 80,000 lbs, but with special permits they may weigh up to twice that. Compare this with non-commercial vehicles, which weigh an average of about 4,000 lbs.
  • Most large trucks are 70 – 80’ long and about 13’ tall.
  • Commercial truck drivers are frequently on the road 11 hours a day, while the average commute for non-commercial drivers is 25 minutes

The size, weight, and use of these trucks makes them a serious safety concern for other drivers on the road. On top of the structural reasons that large commercial trucks are a danger, their drivers are often under enormous pressure to cover as many miles as they can within their allowed driving time. Some of the outcomes of these unsafe circumstances include:

  • More than half a million large truck accidents a year in the US
  • Large trucks are involved in a disproportionate number of fatal accidents, as they make up only 4% of registered vehicles but are involved in 11% of fatal accidents
  • The drivers of other vehicles are more likely to be injured in accidents with 18 wheelers than the truck drivers

Being involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler can have many tragic consequences. You and your family should not have to suffer unaided if a truck driver or company’s negligence caused your accident.

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