Commuting during rush hour can be stressful. You’re late for work, you’re worried about missing your meeting—and traffic isn’t cooperating with you. When you get stuck behind a slow-moving semi-truck, it feels like steam is coming out of your ears. You wait for an opening in the adjacent lane so that you can dart around the truck and speed ahead toward the office.
Before you do, however, you should take a moment to reassess your decision. Making one wrong move around a semi-truck could literally be the difference between life and death. In today’s post, we examine what makes trucking accidents so devastating.
Size and Weight
Anyone with a basic understanding of physics knows that when a large, heavy object collides with a small, comparatively light object, the damage to the small object is far more severe. In addition, because semi-trucks are usually transporting goods long distances across the country, they usually travel on highways and freeways—and collisions at high speeds are more disastrous still.
When cars and large trucks share the road, another very serious risk factor has to do with the truck’s ground clearance. Semi-trucks pull a trailer, the base of which rests several feet above the ground. If there is a side-impact collision between a car and a semi-truck, the car will not ricochet away—as it would if it collided with another car. Instead, the car will slide underneath the moving trailer. In many cases, this underriding phenomenon tears the roof off of the car and decapitates its passengers.
The next time you’re hurrying down the road and you come upon a slow-moving semi-truck, it’s worth remembering that the majority of truck-car collisions result in death. Take a minute to calm your mind and take it slow. If you need to pass a semi-truck, make sure you give the driver plenty of time and space to see you and react to your move.