When you're on the highway, one thing that might bother you is the number of large vehicles nearby. With semitrucks and 18-wheelers surrounding you, you're worried that you could get into a serious crash.
How serious would that crash be, though, with all factors considered? Here are a few things to think about when considering how dangerous it is to be near trucks on the roads.
1. Semis often carry toxins and hazardous chemicals
One of the risks of getting into a crash with a semi or other kind of commercial vehicle is the risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals and toxins. For instance, some semis might carry gasoline, and others might carry flammable materials. If these materials do not stay contained during the crash, they could spill onto your vehicle or cause a fire to break out. There have been instances where people have barely escaped accidents alive due to their vehicles catching on fire.
2. Semis are heavier than other vehicles
Another reason that semis are dangerous in collisions is because of their weight. These commercial vehicles weigh thousands of tons. The gross weight of a vehicle could be up to 80,000 pounds on interstates and up to 84,000 on non-interstate roads. Your vehicle, which might only be two or three tons at a maximum, could easily be crushed under the weight of a semitruck.
The real risk with the differentiation in weight is that the semi might roll onto your vehicle and cause crushing injuries. Crushing injuries are often extremely serious or fatal, primarily due to the time it takes to reach the victims. Even if you don't suffer crushing injuries, you may find it difficult to get out of your vehicle if you're pinned by a large commercial truck.
3. Debris could cause more harm
Debris is another major issue in a commercial-trucking accident. Debris might be something like a tire that blows, or it could be materials that come loose from the back of the trailer. In either case, these items could cause major injuries, like impalement, blows to the skull, broken bones and others.
As soon as you can, you should always call 911 for help following a crash. If you witness a semitruck and car crash, call for help in case the victims cannot. Doing so as soon as possible can be the difference between a person being saved or dying.