Large commercial trucks such as tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and construction vehicles help keep the country’s economy humming. This means that there are thousands of big rigs on roadways every day. Due to their large size and weight, tractor-trailers can pose a unique danger to others on the road. If you or a loved one is injured in a collision with a big truck, finding a car accident law firm with attorneys who know how to handle these types of cases is a must. Knowing more about common types of truck accidents can help you become more aware of potential dangers when you’re driving and may even help you avoid a crash.
Types of Truck Crashes
Jackknife – When a truck driver brakes suddenly, a trailer may swing out to a ninety-degree angle, hitting other vehicles and blocking the roadway. Jackknifing trucks often roll over and cause catastrophic car pileups that result in multiple injuries, fatalities, and significant property damage.
Blind Spot – Big rigs have much larger blind spots than smaller vehicles and cannot see other motorists when they are in these spaces. Attempting to change lanes when someone is in a blind spot can lead to a sideswipe or turning accident that can cause serious damage to a smaller vehicle and its occupants.
Under-ride – This type of truck accident is often deadly. When a truck stops quickly, a vehicle behind them may slide underneath the tractor-trailer. Although there are guards in place on most large trucks, sometimes these types of crashes are fatal.
Rollover – Although rollover accidents happen for a variety of reasons, improperly loaded cargo is one of the main causes of rollover accidents involving tractor-trailers.
Rear-end – Large trucks need significantly more distance than other vehicles to come to a complete stop. When a commercial truck crashes into the back of another vehicle, it can lead to a chain reaction that causes multiple injuries and serious damage.
Head-on – Regardless of whether a big truck is involved, head-on accidents are some of the deadliest collisions that occur on roadways.
Causes of Truck Accidents
Crashes involving large trucks can occur for many different reasons, but some of the most common include:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Poor driver training
- Inadequate maintenance and repair
- Improper cargo loading
- Inclement weather
Injuries sustained in truck accidents can be life-altering. If a collision is caused by truck driver or trucking company negligence, a accident injury lawyer may be able to help injured victims recover compensation from all responsible parties.
Keeping Yourself Safe on the Road
Paying attention to your surroundings when driving is vital. Approach and pass big rigs and other large vehicles with caution. Avoid traveling in blind spots or directly next to a semi-truck. It is a good idea to always assume that a truck driver can’t see you and to pass as quickly and safely as possible. Do not tailgate: maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and any truck that is in front of you. If you notice a truck that is swerving or drifting, stay away from it. If you are in an accident with a commercial truck, take steps to protect your rights and interests.