Dump trucks are often stationed near the edge of huge piles and are used in several industries across the US. Dump trucks are used for the transport as well as dumping of loads and are particularly dangerous given their unstable design and propensity to topple over. A heavy pile of load would have a tendency to exert pressure on the rear axles of the dump truck leading to accidents caused by imbalance.
Dump trucks are especially dangerous given their inherent design that triggers imbalance due to a continuously shifting center of gravity. Even during the time they are parked, they stand a likely chance of toppling over and causing serious accidents thus compromising the safety of other drivers as well as pedestrians.
Bigger models of dump trucks lead to increased risks of instability
Market-driven truck companies are investing in bigger models that possess greater capability of hauling larger quantities and heavier cargo. The higher the load carried by a dump truck, the more likely the chances are of its being unable to retain its balance. Recent advances in truck design have resulted in the production of dual load dump trucks. While these prove to be more profitable to trucking companies, they are more dangerous given the fact that two loads can lead to a greater possibility of imbalance.
The instability of dump trucks is clearly indicated by a study conducted by OSHA. In a report prepared by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), dump trucks have tipped over 31 times and each time, the maintenance worker manning the truck has been killed. Causes for this instability include factors such as uneven load distribution, and sticky loads that stack up on one side of the truck bed.
Emergency braking often causes dump truck accidents
The large loads they ferry plus their innate propensity to tip over classify dump trucks as one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Dump trucks are almost impossible to stop and when the driver steps on the brakes, the impact could be catastrophic. Excessive loads and unbalanced distribution of those loads make dump trucks especially dangerous when they struggle up hilly slopes as they have a tendency to slip back or roll over easily.
Statistics involving large truck accidents
According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association in 2010, there have been 276,000 recorded accidents that were caused due to large trucks weighing over 5 tons. Apart from this, there have been no less than 80,000 cases of injuries plus 3,675 fatalities owing to truck accidents. Among these cases, 76% percent of the deaths were that of occupants of the smaller vehicles that the bigger trucks had hit.
As recently as January 2012, a woman driver suffered fatalities when a big load of sand tipped over on her car when the dump truck tipped over while trying to swerve. In another horrific accident, a dump truck collided with a school bus and resulted in 17 children being injured and one young girl killed.