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Understanding the risks associated with trucks on the road

We see them on the road all the time, yet we often take them for granted. Trucks play a significant role in Berks, as in the rest of the United States, transporting nearly everything you eat, wear and use in life across the country from warehouses or manufacturing facilities to stores for us to purchase and use. While we may pay little mind to seeing trucks on the road, it is vitally important to understand the significant risks associated with trucks.

Although we may feel that their size and ruggedness means that they are, like trains, unlikely to swerve or unexpectedly wander from lane to lane, the harsh reality is that their size and ruggedness can be as much a liability as an asset. Truck drivers have to deal with many factors that traditional car drivers do not have to contend or deal with, such as a longer braking distance and more time in turning at intersections Knowing and understanding these factors can help drivers on the road take necessary precautions to prevent an accident.

As Newton's law of physics reminds us, objects in motion stay in motion until another force acts against it. How does this apply to trucks on the road? Simply said, it is much harder for a truck, especially a truck with a heavy payload, to stop or swerve to avoid an accident. Trucks are also prone to jackknifing, and are especially vulnerable to environmental factors, such as rain, snow and crosswinds.

When truck accidents occur, they far more likely to be worse than a common "fender bender." It is important to recognize these additional risks and to be cautious and mindful on the roads to protect not only yourself and your passengers, but fellow drivers on the road. When an accident does take place, accident victims may be able to not only hold the driver accountable but also the trucking company that irresponsibly hired him.

Source: findlaw.com, "Truck Accident Overview," Dec. 6, 2016

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