The cement truck on the roadway can create a serious risk for traffic and pedestrians around them and for the truck’s driver. Cement trucks often involve unique issues. Accidents that involve this kind of vehicle are not like other accidents involving smaller vehicles, and can result in major injuries or death. (See also here.)
Rolling over is not uncommon for these types of trucks. The uneven weight distribution can cause a cement truck to rollover, when it is traveling at just 5 mph, while the driver is making a 90 degree turn. Normally this would sound like the truck driver could just make turns slower, but with cement that is not the case. The drivers are usually in a rush to reach their destination, with the cement wet. Cement can dry inside of the truck, which at all costs, the driver will avoid this and that raises the risk the cement truck poses on the roads.
Cement Truck Licensing
In California, for example, the driver of this kind of truck is required to have a Class A drivers license, in order to operate a cement truck, which can weigh 26,000 pounds or more when loaded. There are specific rules for this type of license and the driver must pass testing including:
- A CDL Road Test
- Air Breaks
- Pre-Trip Inspections
- General Knowledge Testing
- Combination Vehicle Testing
- Basic Skills Testing
- Testing for Applicable Endorsements
This testing does not provide experience. It ensures the driver knows the basics and the regulations to operate a cement truck or any large truck. When the driver is not experienced, well-trained or violates safety regulations that were learned during training, the chance of involvement in an accident or rolling over, while turning increases greatly.
What Passenger Vehicle Drivers Don’t Often Comprehend
Drivers of passenger vehicles often do not realize that the most common type of cement truck accidents involve collisions and rollovers. Most drivers do not understand or think about the high center of gravity with this type of truck, which makes the balance off when making sharp turns and can easily flip over. Cement trucks are difficult to maneuver, which means the truck driver can fail to see obstacles out of their direct line-of-vision and can drift out of the lane into oncoming traffic. The size and weight of the truck makes it difficult for the cement truck driver to quickly maneuver back into their lane. A collision with a cement truck can result in critical injuries or even death and drivers that fail to obey traffic laws place themselves and those around them in danger, when traveling near a cement truck.
Poor Vision Ability
Cement trucks are like other large trucks on the roadway, which means that the driver has blind spots. The vehicle that is in one of these blind spots cannot be seen by the cement truck driver and that creates a hazard. When a vehicle or construction workers are directly behind the cement truck, the driver is unable to see the vehicle or person that is in the driver’s blind spot. This places them at a risk of the cement truck backing over the person or colliding with the vehicle behind them.
Cement Trucks are Unstable
The design, with the high center of gravity and the weight of the wet cement, makes the cement truck unstable. The mechanical parts to load and unload the wet cement can also pose a danger, if there is a mechanical failure or malfunction. This can be caused by several factors; the operator of the truck can be inexperienced, there can be a defective design or if the operator is intoxicated while operating the cement truck. We hope you enjoyed this educational resource.