We see them all over town and may not even give them a second thought, but when an unsuspecting motorist collides with a commercial box truck, the damage can be considerable. Because there are so many of these high-sided trucks and vans on urban roads on any given day, your odds of such a collisions are much greater than being involved in an accident with a semi-truck. Box trucks roll through our neighborhoods, shopping center parking lots, and right down Main Street, and yet we don’t often think of them as being dangerous.
What Is a Box Truck?
You may not have ever heard of these vehicles referred to as box trucks, but you'd recognize one if you saw it. Box trucks earned their names from the straight-sided, often square shape of the cargo area.Also called straight trucks and high-sided vans, these vehicles are commonly used as delivery trucks and range in size from 12 to 22 feet in length. The iconic brown UPS truck is a box truck, as are the smaller U-Haul moving trucks, and delivery trucks for furniture stores, art galleries, and appliance dealers.
What Risks Do Drivers of Box Trucks Pose?
Like with any large truck, the biggest threat to motorists is the size and weight difference between a loaded box truck and an average car. An accident that would be a fender-bender between two equal-sized cars can become a disaster when a car is rear-ended by a box truck.
Other reasons these trucks are dangerous include:
- Their design makes them unstable. Box trucks have high sides, so they're more likely to tip over when making a sharp turn. Their tall profile also makes them dangerous in high winds—they can be easily pushed into another lane by a wind gust if the driver isn't prepared.
- Their drivers may be inexperienced. These trucks don't require a commercial driver license to operate, so anyone can rent a moving truck and drive it on local roads and on the highway. Someone without experience properly loading and handling such a truck can easily cause an accident.
- They have large blind spots. A distracted delivery truck driver may not bother to check his blind spots, and these trucks have large areas that are blind spots for drivers. Many of these trucks don't have adequate mirrors to account for inadequate views. When a truck driver can't see you driving next to or behind him, he's likely to crash into you.
- Their drivers may be rushed or lost. Most of the box trucks you encounter each day are delivery trucks. This means drivers are often on a tight schedule and may speed and drive recklessly. Also, other than delivery drivers with a regular route, some box truck drivers are often looking for addresses and not adequately focused on driving. Both of these factors can lead to accidents.
Your best defense against box trucks is to be aware of these potential dangers and steer clear. Also, if you see a commercial box truck driving recklessly, take the time to call his employer and report his behavior.
Precautions to Take If You Need to Drive a Box Truck
If you're driving a rented box truck, avoid doing the following:
- Overloading the vehicle
- Not checking blind spots
- Transporting hazardous materials
- Driving in poor weather conditions
If you're uncomfortable handling a box truck, hire a professional. Just because it’s legal to rent one doesn’t mean everyone is capable of driving one safely.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.