Why Are Oversized Trucks So Dangerous?

Oversized trucks are difficult to control, require greater stopping distances, and have significant blind spots. These factors can contribute to causing a motor vehicle accident. Whether it is a manufactured home, shipping container, wind turbine, or other “extra-large” load, motorists should exercise additional caution around any oversize vehicle. When these vehicles cause accidents, the injuries are usually severe, and often fatal.

Crask Risks Associated with Oversize Vehicles

Oversized vehicles have numerous crash risks. While similar to those of other large commercial vehicles, the increased weight and size of these loads amplifies the risks. Many studies have shown that the heavier the vehicle, the greater the crash and fatality risk. On average, it’s estimated that vehicles that weight 80,000 lbs. or greater have an increased fatal crash risk of 50% when compared to vehicles that weigh less than 65,000 lbs.

Common risks of oversized vehicle accidents include:

  • Additional Stopping Distance. The standard tractor-trailer requires just under 200 feet to come to a complete stop. For every 20,000 additional pounds within an oversized load, that distance increases by approximately 20%.
  • Diminished Vision. The height and width of oversized loads increases the usual blind spots found on tractor-trailers. Oversized loads make it difficult for drivers to see to the sides of the vehicle, as well as above the vehicle. This can increase the risk of bridge strikes and sideswipes.
  • Rollovers. Oversized vehicles have a significantly altered center of gravity. This can make the vehicle more prone to tipping and toppling in high winds, when making turns, or coming to a stop. Often, these accidents are caused by improperly loading the trailer.
  • Blown Tires. The heavier the load, the more stress and strain on the tires. If the tires are improperly inflated, damaged, or not rated for the weight of the load, the tires can blow.
  • Jackknifing. The longer the load, the more significant the risk of jackknifing. This usually occurs when the vehicle attempts to make a turn at too sharp an angle. However, it can also occur if the driver loses control over the vehicle’s direction.   

When a motor vehicle accident occurs involving an oversized vehicle, a large truck accident attorney can help determine whether driver error, negligence, or willful violation of state and federal safety regulations caused the accident. In many cases, there are multiple factors that come together to create a hazardous situation that results in a large truck accident in Illinois.