Semi accidents are incredibly dangerous and much has been done to prevent them, from setting lower speed limits for truckers to mandating rest breaks to get rid of drowsy driving. Even so, accidents continue to happen.

One reason for it is that trucks simply have some serious physical limitations on the road. They are not nearly as nimble and agile as smaller cars. They weigh in at around 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. Many other drivers do not realize the risks this creates.

For instance, it means that trucks have very long stopping distances. If a truck driver does not leave enough room between the truck and the next car — or if that car cuts the truck off — an accident may become unavoidable. Even slamming the brake pedal to the floor is not going to bring that 80,000-pound truck to a halt as fast as the passenger car.

The size also leads to extensive blind spots. They exist on both sides, behind and directly in front of the truck. This can lead to collisions even when drivers try to be attentive and use their mirrors. They may simply not see small passenger cars and motorcycles. Technically, most experts agree that the best visibility is on the driver’s side, and that’s where they advise people to drive if they can’t pass the truck quickly on the highway, but even it does not present a perfectly clear view.

These physical limitations are not likely to change. If you are involved in an accident caused by a semitruck, make sure you know what legal rights you have.