A. An accident waiting to happen.
Congratulations! If you are 18 years old or older and have a valid driver’s license, you can rent a truck! But then again, should you? Many people do, and as the photo's in this article will show, the results are often catastrophic. Unfortunately, driving a large van or truck is much different than a car, and therefore, the chances of being involved in a traffic collision are much higher. The end result can be very costly, both financially, and in human life. By sharing these photo's with you, I am not trying to scare you; I really just want people to think about what could happen if they choose to take that risk. I am a professional mover and I was a commercial driver and truck driver trainer prior to that. I've seen a lot of tragedy on the road during my career, and it sucks every single time. The harsh truth of it is that you risk hurting yourself and others, and you can put yourself in some serious legal trouble as well. If you choose to rent a moving truck, you have got to know the risks, and you have got to be careful.
Legally, accidents involving rented moving trucks can be complicated. The person driving the truck is not a commercially-licensed driver and after an accident, they can be held responsible both criminally and financially, for any loss caused by the wreck - even if they purchased the rental company's insurance plan.
Consider as an example; that most rental truck insurance plans do not cover hitting a low clearance (such as an overpass). Doing so could easily be considered negligence if the bridge is properly marked with it's correct height and the trucks operator makes the decision to drive under it anyways. It may sound inconceivable that anybody would do that, but it is currently the leading cause of serious damage to a rented truck. One mistake in judgment, and you could be left holding the bill for a destroyed truck, and that would likely leave you owing thousands of dollars.
In 2014, just a few miles from my home, a military transport vehicle carry a container full of exercise equipment struck a low bridge. The impact was so great that it ripped the container off the truck. Sadly, the container landed on top of a pickup truck, killing the driver.
When you hit a low-clearance, the results can be catastrophic.
If you do decide to go ahead and rent a truck for a self-move, be sure to know your vehicles height, width, and weight and plan your route accordingly. There are low-clearances, narrow roads and bridges with weight restriction everywhere. One wrong turn can result in the destruction of a truck, all of your possessions, and even worse; it can cost you your life. Along with the low-clearances, trucks are more sensitive to wind, they take longer to stop, they have a wider turning radius, and other drivers react differently around them.
Although low clearances are the biggest cause of damage to a rental truck, they certainly aren't the only thing that can lead to accidents out there. Fatigue, distractions, errors in judgment, being unfamiliar with the vehicle itself and how it has been maintained, tire failure, brake failure, unbalanced loads, and lots of other issues can lead to accidents.