Various types of truck accidents can occur on the road, leaving devastating damages in their wake. For example, trucks can cause or contribute to the same collisions as other vehicles, such as side-impact, head-on, rear-end, and sideswipe accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) states that most of the fatalities and injuries that occur in truck accidents are pedestrians and people inside of passenger vehicles. This is due to the size and weight of trucks compared to other vehicles on the road.
There are a few types of accidents that often occur with the use of semi-trucks and trailers, meaning these accidents are unique to or far more frequent with trucks. They include factors such as fatigue, jackknifing, brake failure, cargo shifts, bobtailing, rollovers, and underrides.
Drowsy Driving Truck Accidents
When truck drivers spend too many hours on the road, they could potentially start to suffer the signs of fatigue while behind the wheel. Driving while tired can lead to the following:
- Delayed reaction time
- Negatively affected vision
- Impaired judgment.
- Lack of focus on the road
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
This is why commercial drivers have to follow a number of rules regarding driving time.
When the driver has to apply the brakes on a truck quickly to avoid a hazard, the back end of the trailer may slide outward while continuing to move forward. This can lead to the trailer sliding until it creates an L-shape with the truck cab, potentially colliding with other vehicles along the way.
Jackknife accidents are more common when the truck driver is speeding.
Truck Collisions from Brake Failure
The brakes on a semi-truck and trailer undergo immense stress because of the weight these vehicles move along the roads. Consequently, those who maintain the trucks have an obligation to regularly check the brakes’ integrity, replacing and repairing them whenever necessary.
If the brakes are not maintained properly, they could fail while the truck driver is carrying a heavy load, leading to a major accident.
When loading the trailer on a semi-truck, workers must take care to perform the loading process properly. An improperly loaded trailer could lead to a shift in the cargo as the truck driver turns a corner or applies the brakes. A sudden weight balance shift in the trailer can lead to the trucker losing control of the rig.
When a truck driver is operating the semi-truck without a trailer attached, this is called bobtailing. Bobtailing can be extremely difficult for an inexperienced driver. These trucks are designed to perform best when they have the weight of a trailer attached. Without a trailer, the balance and feel of the truck are completely different, and the braking system works differently, too.
Rollover Truck Accidents
When the truck driver loses control of the rig and trailer, it is possible that the high center of gravity could cause the truck to tip and eventually roll. This is an extremely dangerous type of accident because once the heavy trailer begins rolling, the driver has no control. Rollovers can lead to crushing injuries for others on the roadway as the trailer rolls into the path of other vehicles.
Rollover accidents can occur because the trucker was speeding or because of a blowout of the truck’s tire.
Truck drivers rely on their mirrors to be able to see other vehicles on the road. If the trucker does not keep a close eye on the side mirrors, he or she may miss seeing you in the adjacent lane when merging or turning. This can lead to a significant accident with injuries, such as underrides.
Underride accidents occur when a smaller passenger vehicle collides with the trailer of a truck and gets crushed beneath it.
Defending the Rights of Truck Accident Victims
If you experienced one of these types of truck accidents and you suffered injuries, you have the right to seek compensation from the insurance company representing the truck driver, the truck owner, or the company that loaded the truck. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports that in 2018 there were over 500,000 large truck crashes in the United States. Insurance companies will try to give suboptimal compensation for all of the accidents they are liable for. Do not let them force you to take a lowball settlement offer.
If you are able to prove that the driver or another party created a negligent situation that led to the crash, you may secure damages for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and emotional trauma. The team at Distasio Law Firm may be able to represent you throughout this process and build a strong case for you.
In most states, you have up to two to four years to file a personal injury lawsuit. Our team recommends that you reach out as early as possible so we can begin our investigation while the facts are still clear. Call us at (813) 981-1651 today for a free consultation.