Accidents involving trucks pose a unique and potentially dangerous threat on the road. Despite practicing safety measures, thousands of traffic-related injuries and fatalities still occur annually due to collisions with commercial vehicles. According to the National Safety Council, in 2021 there were 5,700 truck accidents involved in fatal crashes. Of all of these incidents, there are certain types of truck-related collisions that commonly occur. In this blog post, we'll explore the most pervasive kinds of semi-truck accidents and how they can be avoided to ultimately save lives on our busy highways.
8 Types of Truck Accidents
A truck rollover accident is an incredibly devastating event that can happen when a truck driver takes a turn too quickly or makes a sudden swerve. Due to the high center of gravity of large trucks, turning too sharply can cause the trailer to flip and roll the entire truck onto one side, posing a dangerous threat to other drivers on the road.
Unfortunately, these accidents can occur due to reckless behavior such as driving under the influence or while fatigued. However, it is also possible for truck operators to take every safety precaution and still experience a rollover accident. If a truck was improperly loaded, it can sway while turning and result in a rollover.
Jackknife accidents are a severe type of accident that can occur when a large truck folds in on itself, creating a 90-degree angle. This type of accident is known as a 'jackknife accident' due to how the trailer swings into the cab, pushing the front portion of the vehicle to one side. This can also happen when the towing cab is pushed around to face backwards, giving it the shape of a pocketknife. Unfortunately, jackknifing often happens due to faulty braking systems, whether from poor vehicle management or a lack of maintenance.
3. Wide Turn
A wide turn occurs when a driver steers left to make a right turn, and it can pose a risk to both vehicles and pedestrians. When truck drivers are unaware of their surroundings, they can accidentally trap others on the road with their large vehicle.
4. Blind Spots
Changing lanes on a busy road can be a daunting task for any driver, but for truck drivers, it can lead to dangerous situations. When a truck driver can't see other vehicles while changing lanes, it puts adjacent vehicles at risk of being hit, crushed, or even forced off the road. The sheer size and weight of a truck makes the consequences of a collision far more severe than those of a smaller vehicle.
5. Head On
Head-on collisions with trucks can have catastrophic consequences, posing serious risks to those involved. The size and weight of these vehicles can intensify the impact. These types of accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, such as driving under the influence or fatigue.
These types of accidents occur when one vehicle hits another perpendicularly, often resulting in significant damage and injury. One common cause of T-bone accidents is when truck drivers run red lights. Improper left turns and failure to yield or stop for other vehicles can also lead to these types of accidents.
7. Lost Load
Improperly loaded freight and loosely secured truck loads pose a significant risk to motorists. Trucking accidents caused by freight falling out of trucks have been known to cause severe damage and injuries to those involved. The danger of improperly secured loads is not limited to one vehicle; it can affect multiple cars simultaneously.
Due to the weight of large trucks, the extent of property damage and potential for catastrophic injuries cannot be taken lightly. Unfortunately, these types of accidents occur all too frequently, and the root cause can vary from driver error to equipment malfunction.
How to Avoid Truck Accidents
Despite the best efforts of drivers and regulations, truck accidents can and do still happen. While it may not be possible to avoid every accident, there are measures you can take to reduce your risk.
- Drive predictably. Use your signals to clearly show a truck driver what you intend to do. That way the driver can adjust by slowing down, paying closer attention to you, etc.
- Pass quickly. When you see there is enough space ahead for when you pass a truck, do so quickly. You want to avoid lingering alongside the truck or within their blind spot.
- Avoid playing “chicken.” If you believe a truck is going to pass or change lanes in front of you, let the truck do so. Avoid trying to be faster than the truck even if you think you have the right of way.
- Pay attention. Highway driving can be boring but avoid distracted driving as much as possible. Be sure to plan to have music, podcasts, or other forms of entertainment to keep you awake but not distracted. Also avoid using your phone, adjusting the car radio, and doing other activities while driving.
Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been a victim of a truck accident, it is crucial to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer. Our team at Rash Mueller has been advocating for the rights of truck accident victims and their families for decades.
Our goal is to help victims hold negligent truckers and trucking companies accountable for the harm they cause. We understand the pain and suffering that comes with a truck accident, and we aim to secure fair compensation for hospital bills, lost income, rehabilitation, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering.
Trust in our experience and let us fight for your rights. Call (954) 914-7116 or contact us online for a free consultation.