In Colorado, large trucks are everywhere, performing necessary daily functions – without them, many luxuries and conveniences simply wouldn’t exist. Garbage trucks, dump trucks, tank trucks, box and semi-trucks, all fall under the classification of heavy trucks that are in a category all their own when it comes to their operation. These heavy trucks require skill and licensing to maneuver, but more so, they require a specific level of care to avoid injuries or fatalities of pedestrians and passenger vehicles.
We see them all over the roads, and passing them is sometimes scary and imposing, but most people never stop to consider how dangerous being within the proximity of a heavy truck can be. Here are eight items you may have never considered about heavy trucks:
- They have serious Blind Spots: Although heavy trucks have several large and small mirrors to detect the vehicles surrounding them, that does not mean they can see everything. When you are near a heavy truck, we recommend you keep a safe distance. If you are passing a truck, do so quickly to avoid being beside them in a blind spot. If they are trying to turn into your lane, allow them to do so – don’t speed up to pass them, as they might not be able to see you.
- They are more prone to Rollovers: Because heavy trucks have a high center of gravity, if an operator loses control, starts sliding sideways, or takes a turn too sharply, the truck is at an increased risk of rolling over. Rollovers are the most common causes of accidents and fatalities and can be avoided with a high level of care.
- Their brake system may Malfunction: Most heavy trucks use air brakes, which are designed to stop an 80,000 lb. truck going 35 mph within 100 feet. In the likelihood that the air brake system malfunctions, the truck can be almost impossible to stop. That is why it is so important for the truck driver or company to inspect the braking system frequently.
- Their Tires Bald or Blowout much faster: Because heavy trucks travel long distances, frequently, and transport a lot of weight, the tires tend to wear-out fast, leading to an increased risk of tire blowouts. Again, proper inspection of the tires prior to every trip is vital to maintain safety.
- They are Overloaded with Cargo sometimes: In Colorado, the maximum gross weight allowance of a heavy truck is 80,000 lbs. If a truck exceeds that weight, it may become even more difficult to maneuver and control, and may lead to the driver losing control of the truck.
- They take Swinging Turns to maneuver effectively: For truck drivers to maneuver effectively on roadways and small streets, they sometimes must swing their truck around in the opposite direction before taking a wider turn. If you happen to be in a truck’s blind spot when this happens, you may get hit. Conversely, if a truck does not turn wide enough, they may risk scraping cars beside them.
- The items they transport are sometimes Unsecure: If the company or individuals loading the truck, or securing items to the truck are not cautious, there is a risk of items falling from the truck and striking other vehicles, or littering the streets. This is extremely dangerous, as heavy trucks sometimes transport items such as steel and construction materials that can pose a huge safety hazard to other vehicles on the road.
- Weather Conditions: Wind, snow, and ice are a heavy truck’s weakness. In bad weather conditions, you may see heavy trucks pulled to the side of the road to let the weather conditions pass, as heavy trucks are often most vulnerable and prone to accidents in these types of conditions.
If you have been involved in an accident with a heavy truck, you will need the help and expertise of an experienced attorney. Without a lawyer by your side to advocate for your interests, the truck company and its attorneys may try to negotiate a low settlement and cheat you out of damages you are entitled to.
Contact the Denver personal injury attorneys at Alhasoon, Glidden and Glidden at (720) 487-1050 for a free consultation. We have fought tough cases against many trucking companies and understand how they work and will fight vigorously to recover every dollar you are owed.