When a truck weighing at least 20 times more than a normal passenger vehicle collides with a car, the force and scale of the disaster can be life-changing. There is a reason why trucks account for around 10% of all road fatalities but only make up around 4% of registered motor vehicles in the US. When accidents happen, the consequences are catastrophic.
Personal injury attorneys with extensive experience in truck accidents, like Abels & Annes, PC, are used to representing victims involved in several types of truck accidents. Each case is different with its own unique set of circumstances, but most can broadly be defined as one of these five types of trucking accidents:
The additional height of most trucks makes them vulnerable to rolling in the event of an accident. Something as small as mounting a curb or catching a deep pothole at the wrong angle and speed can cause a truck to roll. When it does, the damage can be extensive.
Rollovers become particularly dangerous when the trucks load comes loose, sending debris all over the road. Often, the debris can lead to further collisions and accidents, inflicting far more damage than the initial rollover itself.
Lost Load Accidents
A truck doesn’t have to roll to lose its load. If industry loading guidelines and best practices aren’t followed to the letter, loads can come loose at high speeds with disastrous consequences.
When loads come loose, they represent a significant hazard to other motorists. They can collide with loose objects, or other vehicles in their attempt to avoid them. The company responsible for loading the truck is often held accountable for loose load accidents, not the driver, particularly in cases where external factors played no fault in the load coming loose.
Jackknife accidents are caused when the trucks cab and load bend to form a ‘V’ shape. Typically, they are caused by driver error due to late braking, however, sometimes poor driving conditions can cause a jackknife accident.
A heavy truck needs more distance to come to a stop than the average vehicle. This is why they are overrepresented in rear-end collisions. All it takes is one second of distracted driving, or a brake light missing from the car in front, and an 80,000 lb truck can be sent hurtling into the back of a stationary car.
Rounding out the list of truck accident types are blind-spot collisions. The elongated shape of a truck means that trucks have a blind-spot towards the rear and at the sides of the vehicle. If a vehicle is travelling in this blind spot for a long period of time, truck drivers are often unaware of their presence. If they suddenly change lanes, they will be sent careering into the vehicle, causing a dangerous accident.
Other road users can help reduce the number of blind-spot collisions by avoiding travelling in a truck drivers’ blind-spot for very long.
If all motorists are aware of the five most common types of truck accidents, it could help bring collision numbers down. Understanding what type of collisions occur and why is key to avoiding fatalities and injuries on our roads. We should all be mindful of our driving and the difficulties truck drivers face when transporting heavy loads. Only then can we keep ourselves safe at all times.