The most common truck accidents include rollovers, jackknifing, tire blowouts, and wide turn accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with a large truck, you could pursue compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers can review your case and determine the appropriate legal action based on the truck accident type and severity.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Semi-trucks, also known as tractor trailers, are heavy, large, and difficult to maneuver. This makes them especially prone to dangerous and deadly accidents. With approximately 6.5 million licensed commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers on the roads each year, per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), accidents are bound to occur. Some of the most common semi-truck accidents you’ll see on US roads include:
According to the Insurance Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), approximately half of large truck occupant deaths occur when the truck rolls over. The size and weight of a tractor trailer make it more difficult to maneuver, especially at high speeds.
When a truck driver swerves at high speed, takes a curve too quickly, or momentarily loses control, even a moderate incline can cause a heavily loaded trailer to roll, taking the cab and its occupants with it.
When a truck operator tries to brake or turn sharply, the trailer may skid and swing out at a 90-degree angle along the hitch, pushing the cab to the side. This type of accident, known as jackknifing, can also occur when the trailer loses traction on wet, icy, or snowy roads. When a tractor trailer jackknifes at high speed, it can strike other vehicles, people, and objects on the road before it comes to a stop.
Semi-trucks spend hours crossing the country on interstates, state highways, and local byways. Wear and tear on tires is very common, and you can see the results along major roadways across the US. When a truck tire blows out, the trucker may lose control of his vehicle, swerve, or become distracted. Any of these factors can lead to an accident with vehicles or objects in the surrounding area.
In addition, blown tires often fly out from under the truck into traffic, placing motorists and their passengers at risk of flying debris and road obstacles. At high speeds, other drivers may not be able to avoid hitting the tire debris, or they may try to stop or swerve, which may, in turn, cause accidents.
Truck drivers must account for the larger turning radius associated with their trailers. However, when a trucker fails to accurately judge a turn, they may cross into the opposite lane and strike a vehicle coming from the other direction.
Depending on the speed and location of the intersection, head-on and side-impact accidents due to wide turns can cause significant harm to other vehicle occupants.
When a truck changes lanes and strikes a vehicle headed in the same direction, it is called a sideswipe accident. Tractor trailers have much larger blind spots than standard passenger vehicles. When they switch lanes, turn, or otherwise maneuver through traffic, truck drivers must pay special attention to the areas on either side of the cab and trailer.
Underride and Override Accidents
An underride accident occurs when a driver strikes the side or rear of a tractor trailer and wedges their vehicle underneath the trailer. Override accidents, on the other hand, occur when the truck strikes a smaller passenger vehicle from behind with sufficient force to drive over the top of the other vehicle. Both override and underride accidents can cause extensive injury and death, as occupants in the other vehicle can be crushed by the weight of the truck.
The IIHS indicates that 30% of people killed in two-vehicle accidents were in passenger vehicles struck head-on by large trucks. Truck drivers are much less likely to be injured in such crashes due to the superior height, size, and weight of the truck.
Rear-end accidents often occur when someone is following too closely. Passenger vehicle drivers who fail to stop behind a semi-truck trailer can strike the rear of the truck and cause an underride accident.
Large trucks are also prone to rear-ending other vehicles when the other vehicle stops suddenly. Since trucks are so large and heavy, they need much more time and space to come to a complete stop. When there is not enough room, they may strike another vehicle from behind.
When drivers overlook or fail to yield to other vehicles on the road, they may strike the side of another vehicle as it passes in front of them. T-bone accidents in which a large truck strikes a passenger vehicle account for 25% of passenger vehicle fatalities in two-vehicle crashes, according to the IIHS.
Factors That Contribute to Different Types of Truck Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), truck drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents due to:
- Tight schedules
- Speeding and aggressive driving
- Fatigued driving
- Distracted driving
- Unsafe road conditions
- Poor weather conditions
- Insufficient licensing and training
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
Determining the type and cause of your truck accident allows your Las Vegas truck accident attorney to establish negligence. For example, if a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel because he violated the FMCSA Hours of Service regulations, they may be at fault. However, if the truck driver was driving too long because their employer expected them to adhere to an unreasonably tight schedule, you may be able to hold the employer accountable for your damages.
Consult Our Truck Accident Lawyers for Assistance With Your Claim Today
If you were involved in any type of truck accident, the Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you determine fault and file a claim for your losses. Contact us today for a free consultation.