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Trucks are an essential part of the American economy — but on the road, they can be deadly. Thanks to lax federal regulations and manufacturers that put profit first, personal trucks like pickups aren’t held to the same safety standards as passenger cars, even though they’re often used for the same purposes.

Large commercial trucks like tractor-trailers, big rigs, or eighteen-wheelers weigh up to 20 times as much as a passenger car, virtually guaranteeing that they’ll crush smaller vehicles in an accident. Worse, some truckers and trucking companies, in an effort to maximize profits and make their deadlines, ignore safety regulations. Victims of truck accidents — those in or outside the truck — are likely to be killed or sustain brain damage, spinal injuries, amputations and other very serious injuries.




Commercial truck drivers are professionals with special training and special safety regulations governing when and how they may drive. Truckers and trucking companies routinely ignore those laws in order to meet strict delivery deadlines. Sometimes, that leads to truckers piloting ten-ton vehicles on very little sleep or taking drugs to stay awake. At other times, trucking companies fail to maintain brakes, tires, lights and other equipment, putting their own drivers and everyone around them at risk of a serious truck accident. And a few unscrupulous companies knowingly employ cheap but unqualified drivers who never earned a commercial driver’s license in the first place. Federal statistics show that large trucks – like big rigs and 18-wheelers – are only three percent of the vehicles on our roads but are involved in 12 percent of traffic fatalities.



Smaller and personal trucks share some of these dangers. They may not weigh 80,000 pounds, but they’re still taller and higher than many of the passenger cars on the road, giving them the potential to crush smaller vehicles in an auto accident. Statistics show that pickups and other personal trucks are also more than twice as likely as passenger cars to have a fatal rollover accident. And recent-model pickups have seen a slew of recalls and product defects that can put their occupants at grave risk, including defective tires, door latches that don’t work and improperly secured seat belts.

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