5 Large Trucks and the Hazards They Can Pose

Semi Truck Tractor TrailersWhen it comes to large vehicle accidents, we typically think of crashes involving semi-trucks. However, several large commercial vehicles can cause just as much damage to a passenger vehicle and its occupants in a crash, due to its weight being several tons more than other cars.

For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines a large truck as having “a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds” in its Fatality Analysis Reporting System.2

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), “most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants.”1 This happens because trucks “often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance,” which leaves smaller vehicles vulnerable to underriding trucks in crashes.1

Here is a starter list of 5 large trucks and the hazards they can pose:

1. Tractor-Trailers

Tractor Trailer Semi Truck 18 WheelerAlso known as semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and semi-trailer trucks, these commercial vehicles are typically the heaviest on the highway. The gross weight of a tractor-trailer can vary depending on the type of cargo it is carrying. In the U.S., a tractor-trailer cannot exceed a gross weight of 80,000 pounds, including its cargo weight.3

These 18-wheelers are prone to rolling over due to their high center-of-gravities. They also have bigger blind spots called “no-zones,” which extend several feet away from all sides of the tractor-trailer.

2. Flatbed Trucks

Flatbed TruckFlatbed trucks are known for their flat, open trailer. They can be seen hauling building and construction materials, landscaping materials, baled tires, and construction equipment like bulldozers.

Sometimes, cargo on flatbed trucks is not loaded or secured properly, making it susceptible to flying off and hitting other vehicles on the road. Especially if the cargo is obstructing the driver’s vision, these trucks also have several blind spots. Just like tractor-trailers, flatbed truck drivers need must always be alert as they need more distance to brake as well. 

3. Dump Trucks & Garbage Trucks

Dump Garbage Truck

Dump trucks typically carry sand, gravel, or dirt to a construction site. These materials are often covered with a tarp, but sometimes they are not. If involved in a crash, the contents of a dump truck may be scattered across the road and can potentially bury other cars. These trucks have large blind spots. 

Garbage trucks are often seen in residential areas, which increases their likelihood of hitting a pedestrian, bicyclist, or another passenger car. They also have large blind spots and limited view.

4. Box Trucks

Box truck

Also known as cube trucks or box vans, box trucks are bulky. Delivery companies like UPS typically use them, but they’re also used as moving vans and have a roll-up door in the rear.

These vehicles are prone to rollover accidents due to their high center-of-gravities. Box truck drivers also have a hard time seeing the back of the truck.  Changing lanes in these vehicles is very challenging for a professional driver.

5. Tanker Trucks

Tanker Trucks

Designed to carry liquids or gases (including hazardous material), tanker trucks can vary in size. The largest tanker trucks share the same classification with tractor-trailers.

The larger a tanker truck is, the more prone it is to rolling over, which can be very dangerous if it is carrying flammable liquid or gas.


Seriously Injured in a Large Truck Crash? We Can Help

If a large truck has seriously injured you or someone you love, our experienced attorneys at Shannon Law Group, P.C., are ready to help. You can start by filling out our online contact form.

You can also call us at (312) 578-9501 or toll-free at (886) 881-9980. One of our team members will be in touch with you shortly. A free, no obligation consultation is available as well.







Recent Blog Posts

Person thinking

How Much is My Truck Accident Case Worth?

When we meet with someone who has been in a truck accident, they often will ask us, “So, how much is my case worth?” We understand it’s a cliché lawyer answer, but the reality is that it depends. Instead of doing the impossible – guessing what the client’s total recovery will be at the first…
Woman pulled over by a police officer

What is the “Move Over Law” in Illinois? (And Why Is It Important?)

All of us have been there: You’re driving down the highway and see a police car on the side of the road that has just pulled another vehicle over (like in the photo above). For many of us, we instinctively slow down or attempt to move over a lane to give the police officer more…
Man Thinking on the Sidewalk in the Dark

3 Things You Should Do (And Not Do) After a Truck Accident

Someone injured in a truck accident often has very little knowledge of and zero experience with the civil justice system. Usually, it’s a confusing time for them. They’re not sure what they should (and should not) do after the crash. Their medical bills are piling up. The trucking company’s insurance claims department won’t stop calling…