Are Big Rigs to Blame?

Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 8:01pm

You’ve seen the dramatic video when 18-wheelers crash, but are trucks really the cause of danger on the roadway? NBC 33’s Lauren Unger takes a closer look.

They’re images that stop the heart, 18-wheelers that ran off the road or turned upside down. But just how dangerous are these massive machines? State Police say, generally, they’re some of the safest vehicles on the road and so are the men and women behind the wheel.

Sgt. Markus Smith says, “When you look at the actual statistics of the number of vehicles on the roads, commercial trucks get into far less wrecks than what average vehicles do.” Instead, authorities say most of the 18-wheeler accidents actually happen when car drivers don’t play it safe.

Terry Lambert has spent years riding coast to coast. He says he’s seen his share of road disaster. Trucker Charles Dlevins says, “They really don’t have any idea what it’s like to be in a truck.”

Making things difficult for a lot of the truckers we spoke with, they say people don’t understand what they’re up against. Trucker Jon Cross says, “With a fully loaded semi, you’re looking at one to two football fields to get it stopped.” Truckers say you should always avoid sudden stops or movements and be careful when you merge onto the highway.

This is just a little bit of caution to help vehicles of all sizes share the road.