Commercial trucks pose serious hazards to other vehicles and other persons on the road when they collide. Whether a truck collides with another vehicle, rolls over, or collides with an inanimate object, there are many hazards unique to this type of large vehicle:
1) Multi-vehicle accidents. The sheer size and length of a truck can cause a truck to suddenly block all or part of a road, and this can easily lead to multiple-vehicle accidents is other cars on the road cannot stop in time. The sheer size and force of a commercial truck can also cause the truck to crash through multiple passenger vehicles when spinning out of control. Commercial trucks are simply more likely to cause multi-car accidents than passenger vehicles.
2) Spills. One unique thing about commercial trucks which sets them apart from other vehicles is that commercial trucks carry loads. Following a collision, these loads can spill, causing additional damages and injuries. If a truck is carrying livestock, for example, a collision can cause the livestock to scatter, causing additional accidents. If a truck is carrying large objects – such as logs or heavy steel pipes – these objects may scatter on the road in an accident and impact with other vehicles, causing serious accidents.
3) Fires. In some cases, commercial trucks carry highly flammable or dangerous materials. If these substances are spilled in a truck accident, the materials can ignite or even explode. A large spill igniting after a collision can rage over a roadway, causing fatalities and serious burn injuries. Some trucks carry dangerous chemicals; when spilled after a collision, these substances can affect the health and welfare of entire communities. In some cases, these substances can also cause chemical burns.
4) Road damage. Due to their size and force, trucks in a serious collision can sometimes cause serious damage to a roadway, shoulder, bridge, or other road surface area. A truck skidding out of control can easily scrape or cause ruts in a road surface. This sort of damage can affect the safety of drivers who must then use the road after an accident.
5) Fatalities. Most commercial truck accidents do not occur between two trucks – they occur between a passenger vehicle and a commercial truck. Unfortunately, these sorts of accidents are far more likely than the typical car accident to result in fatalities. A 3,000 pound car is simply no match for a commercial truck of 60 to 80 tons. When these two types of vehicles collide, the car is often crushed or badly mangled, often leaving few if any survivors.