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Understanding the Risk That Trucks Pose on Local Streets

Larger commercial trucks are incredibly important for the economy of California and every other state in the country. However, these vehicles should not be on every type of roadway. Yes, larger trucks will be on highways and main roadways throughout our area, but are they supposed to be on everyday local streets?

The reality is that there are many areas where commercial trucks should not travel, and often these roads are clearly marked as being off-limits for larger trucks. Here, we want to understand the risks that these larger vehicles pose on local streets.

Navigating Smaller Roadways

If we examine the information available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), we can see that larger commercial trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and reach lengths of up to 72 feet long period most commercial trucks in the United States are around 8.5 feet wide and 13.5 feet tall.

When we picture these dimensions, it is fairly apparent that commercial trucks need larger roadways to maneuver comfortably. We have all likely seen larger trucks struggling to operate on city roadways, particularly when they are closer to making deliveries and have to turn onto smaller roadways. The reality is that smaller roadways, including local streets in and around San Bernardino, are not made for large commercial truck activity.

Not only are the roadways not constructed in a way to handle heavy and constant traffic, but they just do not have the room to accommodate the turns that these trucks need to take. Large trucks on smaller local streets can lead to incredible congestion, particularly if a truck driver gets into a situation that they are unable to get out of due to traffic and confined spaces.

Limited Visibility for a Driver

An unfortunate reality of a larger truck operating in a smaller space is limited visibility. There are all sorts of obstacles that can block a truck driver’s visibility, including homes or other buildings, other traffic, trees, and even trash cans.

Large commercial trucks already have significant blind spots individuals need to be aware of. These blind spots are on each side of the vehicle as well as the front and rear of the truck. Any other vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist that gets into these blind spots will not be visible to the driver. This can create major issues on local streets, particularly pedestrian-friendly areas. Most individuals do not expect to have to maneuver around larger commercial trucks when they are on local streets, and it is not uncommon for everyday drivers and pedestrians to get into a truck’s blindspot unknowingly.

What to do if a Truck is on Local Streets

If you see a larger commercial truck on a local street where you think it does not belong, your number one priority is to maintain a safe distance. If you were able to, try and ensure that others in the area do not get too close to the truck, especially little kids who may not know the true dangers of these vehicles. If the truck is in an area where it is absolutely not supposed to be, you should call the non-emergency police number to report the incident. And, in the event that you are involved in a crash with a truck, please reach out to our San Bernadino truck accident attorneys today.