Commercial trucks are large, difficult to control and heavy enough that even slight collisions are catastrophic for the other vehicle. The sheer physics of maneuvering a fully loaded rig is mind-boggling, and a smaller vehicle, such as a car, motorcycle or bicycle, is at a significant disadvantage.
And that’s just the vehicle. Commercial trucks are also much more dangerous than other vehicles because of:
Overworked, inattentive drivers
Trucking companies work on extremely thin margins and make demands of their employees that border on unreasonable. Highly rigid schedules, quotas and bustling routes leave drivers in a bad position. They must choose between making their deadlines and sleeping.
This is a hard decision, and not all drivers make the safer choice. This can lead to drowsiness and a severe lack of attention behind the wheel.
Roads not designed for their vehicle
Roads are feats of engineering and much more complicated than simply concrete, asphalt and straight lines. For roads going around curves, engineers make subtle tweaks to the pitch to ensure contact. Off-ramps and on-ramps must meet certain criteria. Bridges have weight limits.
The engineering requirements and thought combine to meet a model of the most likely vehicles to drive on a certain road. Not every road has commercial vehicles in mind, but truckers might use roads never intended for their vehicle when time is short.
Vehicles loaded beyond capacity.
Even if the driver takes every reasonable precaution and keeps to their appointed, truck-approved route, another factor can increase the risk. That factor is the shipment weight. Trucks improperly loaded are difficult to control. If road conditions worsen, it’s a question of margins. Can the truck make the course corrections it needs to? Anything that makes it harder makes a truck that much more dangerous.
Extremely aggressive legal teams
Finally, as commercial trucks belong to companies with massive liability concerns, they employ aggressive legal teams to protect them. These teams fight every possible case with near rabid force. While not a physical threat, their efforts often make it so people are saddled with massive medical bills they cannot pay.