Drivers across the nation have seen, sometimes first-hand, just how dangerous semi-trucks can be. When a semi-truck collides with a vehicle on the road, the results are often catastrophic.

With semi-trucks driving over 175 billion miles across the U.S. in 2016, they pose a real danger to all of us. As you drive, remember to take caution around these giants of the roadways.

5 reasons semi-trucks are so dangerous

  • Force of impact: Semi-trucks are known to weight 20-30 times as much as a standard passenger vehicle. What that means to vehicles on the roads is that semi-truck stopping distance is greatly reduced. If a truck is not able to stop before impact, the force is often deadly.
  • Driver fatigue. With so much demand for products and goods, companies push drivers harder than ever. Drivers have such tight deadlines that it becomes impossible to get enough sleep.
  • Driver drug use. Being a long-haul truck driver is a lonely job. While that is no excuse for drug use, it does explain why so many self-medicate with illegal drugs.
  • Poor handling. Semi-trucks are known for trouble in poor weather conditions. It often takes years of experience to know how to handle a truck of that size.
  • Improper maintenance. Also, the people packing the trailers face tight deadlines too. This can result in poorly packaged trailers with shifting cargo. Additionally, the trailers may have maintenance needs that simply don’t fit into the schedule.

As a passenger vehicle on the road, it is critical that you follow safe driving habits around large semi-trucks. As much as you are able, put distance between yourself and a semi-truck. Take care not to drive along-side them for longer than you need to and be cautious if they are traveling directly behind you.