Under-Rides to Rollovers: The Different Types of Truck Accidents
Many people take for granted the significant dangers posed by semi-trucks on American highways. For example, did you know that one person is injured or killed in a truck accident every 16 minutes? According to the United States Department of Transportation, an estimated 500,000 truck accidents occur each year. Because of their immense size, even minor accidents involving trucks are cause for serious concern. Unfortunately, many people don’t take these risks into account when they’re sharing the road with a semi-truck. When something goes wrong with a truck, there are many different types of accidents that can occur. If you want to avoid becoming involved in one of these potentially deadly accidents, it’s helpful to understand some of the ways they can occur.
The term jackknifing refers to the instance when a truck driver slams on the brakes causing the trailer to skid outward from the cab resulting in a truck being stuck in a 90-degree angle. Jackknife truck accidents are more likely to occur on slippery roads or when a driver takes a curve too quickly or has to swerve to avoid another vehicle. This type of accident is extremely dangerous to other vehicles on the road because once it occurs, there’s very little the truck driver or anyone else can do to avoid it. Additionally, if a jackknife accident occurs at high speeds, the truck is likely to roll over.
Rollover accidents are any accident where the truck turns over on its side. Rollover accidents are the most common type of truck accident. There are several factors which can contribute to a truck rolling over. These include a failure to adjust the truck’s speed on curved highways, improperly maintained or defective brakes, driver fatigue, improperly loaded cargo in the truck’s trailer, and inattentive or distracted drivers of passenger vehicles. Basically, any time a truck driver is forced to swerve quickly to avoid another vehicle or obstacle, a rollover is likely.
Because of their large size, semi-trucks take more distance to come to a stop. Additionally, the weight added by carrying a full load affects the distance necessary to stop. Rear-end collisions with semi-trucks can occur if the truck driver misjudges the distance they need to slow down. This type of collision can also occur if a truck’s brakes aren’t properly maintained or are defective. While this type of accident causes a great deal of damage, it is not as deadly as an accident where a passenger vehicle crashes into the back of a truck. That type of accident often results in what’s known as an under-ride.
An under-ride refers to the instance where a truck stops suddenly and the vehicle behind it crashes into the back and gets lodged underneath the trailer. These accidents are extremely dangerous and are the deadliest truck related accidents. It’s important, when driving behind a semi-truck, to always remember to keep a safe distance and avoid distractions. It’s also important to remember that the space right behind a truck’s trailer is a blind spot for the truck driver. In an effort to cut down on fatal under-ride accidents, some trucks have guards designed to prevent this type of accident. Still, many do not. Therefore, it’s important to remember the risks associated with crashing into the back of a semi-truck and take the proper precautions.
Tire blowouts are often an indirect cause of many truck-related accidents. Semi-trucks are susceptible to blowouts especially as a result of improper maintenance, defective tires, improper loading, and poor road conditions. Tire blowouts can cause a truck driver to lose control of the vehicle, and even if they don’t, the debris that results from a blowout can seriously damage nearby vehicles leading to other accidents.
Sometimes, even if you’re as careful as you can reasonably be, accidents still happen. If you’ve been involved in a semi-truck related accident in the state of Oregon, don’t hesitate to contact one of our experienced semi-truck accident lawyers.