Driving alongside a semi-truck is generally unavoidable. Used to transport goods across the country, they are a common sight on most highways and even on city roads. But just because they’re a necessary asset to the transportation industry doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous.

Semi-trucks pose a unique threat to other drivers on the road. Whereas a crash between two pedestrian vehicles doesn’t always result in severe injury, crashes between a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck are more likely to end in life-threatening — and sometimes even fatal — injuries.

Size is a contributing factor

One of the biggest reasons behind collisions involving semi-trucks has to do with the size of the trucks themselves. Because semi-trucks are so big, they have large blind spots that prevent them from seeing smaller cars behind and around them.

In addition, a semi-truck requires extra turning room. They’ll often need to pull out and cross over center lines and into other lanes in order to make a successful maneuver. Any car caught alongside them or in another lane while they’re trying to turn may be on the receiving end of a nasty crash.

Vehicle malfunctions are possible

Truck drivers have a duty to check that their vehicles won’t experience a mechanical failure while on the road. However, a mistake or lapse in judgement could easily lead to maintenance problems that can cause serious accidents.

Common problems include tire damage and brake failure. It’s no question that a semi-truck’s tires will experience wear and tear with time. But it’s crucial that truck drivers make sure to remedy these problems so they don’t blow out a tire while driving. They should also get their brakes checked regularly. Brake failure can lead to devastating rear-end crashes.

Overworked drivers are not uncommon

Unfortunately, many trucking companies impose unrealistic deadlines on their drivers. In order to get the job done in a timely manner, truck drivers might operate when they’re fatigued or need rest. But a tired truck driver makes for a dangerous truck driver. They can become inattentive and even run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

Use caution in the presence of semi-trucks

A crash involving a semi-truck can be life-changing. Because of the risks involved with sharing the road with these large vehicles, you should exercise caution when driving around them.

Unfortunately, however, accidents can still happen to even the most careful drivers. Know that there are legal options that you can pursue if you or a loved one suffered in a crash involving a semi-truck.