Semi-truck drivers tend to have long shifts and often pull off the road to rest before continuing their journey. This typically translates to them parking on the side of the street or on the shoulder of highways.
Although parked trucks may seem harmless, they actually pose serious risks to other drivers. In this blog, we will explore the potential dangers of parked trucks and how they can cause a crash. Why, you might ask? Because it is important to understand these risks to prevent unfortunate truck-related incidents from occurring, and here’s how…
Parked trucks can inadvertently cause collisions due to the limited visibility they create for other drivers. When truck drivers park alongside roads, they can block the line of sight of other drivers attempting to enter or exit the roadway. In general, limited visibility increases the likelihood of car crashes, especially when the parked trucks are situated close to intersections or curves in the road. Drivers might not anticipate the unpredictable maneuvers of other drivers on the road due to the limited visibility caused by the parked truck, resulting in serious car crashes.
Another potential danger that parked trucks poses is the sudden movements made when they begin merging with traffic. It is common knowledge that semi-trucks are significantly heavier than passenger vehicles; therefore, they require more time and space to accelerate or decelerate. If a parked truck unexpectedly starts moving without proper indication, it can catch other drivers off guard leading to traffic collisions. On the other hand, if the truck is parked on an incline without the parking brake properly applied, it may unintentionally roll into oncoming traffic resulting in a catastrophic scenario.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), truck drivers must utilize warning devices such as hazard lights, cones, or reflective signs to alert other drivers of the parked truck. Semi-truck drivers often neglect to use these warning devices or place them incorrectly. Passenger drivers may not be aware of the parked truck until it is too late to react, causing serious collisions, injuries, and property damage.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts the driver’s attention away from driving. Eating while driving, texting, talking on the phone, and even having an animated conversation with other passengers in the car all count.
According to the New Mexico 18-wheeler attorneys at The Fine Law Firm, distracted driving is a leading cause of car crashes and parked trucks continue to contribute to the problem. When drivers pass a parked truck, their attention might shift from driving to the truck. This distraction can lead drivers to fail to notice changes in traffic, potentially causing a collision. They urge drivers to keep their focus on the road to avoid distractions such as parked trucks.
All things considered, parked trucks can be a massive hidden hazard on the roads, and their potential to cause car collisions is well documented. Both truck operators and other drivers should take proactive measures to prevent these kinds of collisions from occurring. So make sure that your attention is always on the road, not on other objects on the side of the road, and drive cautiously when passing parked trucks.
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