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Trucks on our Kansas City Roadways

types of large trucks

Some of the most serious accidents on our Kansas City roadways – on any roadway – involve large trucks. Accidents involving large commercial trucks and a passenger vehicle often result in serious injuries, sometimes even fatalities.

We want you to be aware as you share the road with large trucks to help you stay safer on the road.


Large Trucks on the Road

Garbage trucks, found in both residential and commercial areas, carry large loads of waste. Another similar type of truck, dump trucks, are work trucks and carry various loads such as dirt, gravel, sand and many other construction materials. Motorists should be aware that the load they carry can be top-heavy making the truck a tip over risk. In addition, these trucks have large blind spots and debris flying out of the back of the truck. This can be dangerous not only to other motorists, but also to pedestrians and cyclists.

Tractor-trailers are known by many names including semis, semi-trailers, semi-trucks, big rigs and 18-wheelers. Whatever name you use, they haul cargo and have a high center of gravity making it easier for these trucks to roll over in an accident. Drivers are often pressed by deadlines and long hauls so fatigue can easily lead to accidents.

Tanker Trucks haul liquids and gases, some of which may be hazardous materials. Their size and shape make it easier for these trucks to roll over in an accident. Depending on what type of liquid and/or gas they are carrying, an accident with a tanker truck can be very dangerous if it is flammable or toxic.

Trucks with long, open trailers are known as flatbed trucks. The open trailer makes it easy to load and unload cargo. Improperly secured cargo is one of the dangers with this type of truck. Should the load become loose it can fall off the truck where other vehicles can hit it causing a multiple car accident.

Typically weighing more than 10,000 pounds, tow trucks may be driven by drivers who have not been trained properly. Combining the truck’s weight with this inexperience can lead to serious accidents.

Delivery trucks tend to be lighter vehicles with the capacity of less than 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. You’ll see them in both residential and commercial areas delivering or picking up packages. Motorists as well as pedestrians and cyclists should be aware of these trucks in the neighborhood.


Who is Responsible for an Accident?

Determining responsibility in any accident can be challenging. While you might think it is solely the truck driver’s responsibility, there may be multiple responsible parties depending on the circumstances of your accident.

Mechanical problems, proof of maintenance and overloaded trucks are more complicated and responsibility could be shared by the truck driver, the owner of the truck , the manufacturer of the vehicle or the shipper/loader of the truck’s cargo.

Factors Involved

Size. A tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, making it roughly 16 times heavier than the average passenger car. The impact can cause devastating injuries ranging from disfigurement to traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and more.

Braking Ability. A tractor-trailer — or any large commercial truck — traveling 60 miles per hour needs approximately 350 feet to come to a stop. Putting this in perspective, that would be more than the length of a football field.

Maneuverability. Because large trucks need more time and space to stop or change course, they are harder to maneuver than a normal passenger vehicle.

Cargo. Tractor-trailers carry large, heavy cargo that can become loose if not secured properly and can affect the maneuverability of the vehicle. In addition, some tractor-trailers haul dangerous loads that are flammable, explosive or hazardous.


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