Did you have a close encounter with a large truck on the road? Perhaps you want to prepare yourself in case the worst happens.
If so, you need to know about the different types of trucking accidents. The most dangerous trucking accidents include jackknifes and rollovers. Plus, staying in a truck driver’s blind spot increases the likelihood of a severe accident.
If you have been involved in a truck-related accident, contact a tractor trailer accident lawyer immediately. More importantly, choose a lawyer who has experience in truck accident cases.
This article will highlight 3 types of trucking accidents in greater detail. Let’s explore.
1. Jackknife Accidents
A jackknife occurs when the truck folds in on itself. As a result, the cab turns at a 90-degree angle.
The driver loses complete control of the truck, placing motorists in danger. The weight of the trailer pushes the cab forward, throwing the entire truck off course.
This is especially dangerous during tanker truck accidents. Trucks carrying hazardous chemicals endanger all motorists in the vicinity.
Since the driver has no control, the truck can also enter other lanes and cause multiple accidents. In worst cases, the truck may overturn, injuring the driver and other motorists.
A jackknife stems from the following reasons:
- The driver braked suddenly.
- The driver didn’t pay attention to the road.
- The driver started speeding.
Drivers speed all too often to make delivery deadlines. A speeding truck is dangerous due to the trailer’s excessive weight. The average truck can weigh around 80,000 pounds.
The heavyweight behind the cab causes the driver to lose control. Plus, the cab and the trailer can stop in different directions, causing a jackknife.
In many cases, the driver is also at fault due to faulty brake maintenance. The driver may have also made improper adjustments to the truck.
Jackknife can also happen during hazardous weather (i.e. snowstorms or heavy rain). Icy and wet roads can cause jackknife incidents.
Moreover, the truck tires may have no traction on wet roads, causing the truck to slide. Truck drivers stand a higher chance of jackknifing if they don’t maintain the tires properly.
2. Rollover Accidents
In extreme cases, a truck can overturn if the driver loses control. The truck will tip over and can slide across the roadway. The sliding truck will contact oncoming cars, and nearby motorists have little time to react.
Additionally, the cargo can scatter across roadways and pose a safety hazard. For example, garbage truck accidents can cause small and large debris to spill onto the road. The result is a separate hazard because motorists may swerve out of the way to avoid hitting it.
Rollovers usually occur when the front wheels turn faster than the trailer, especially if the trailer carries cargo. A sudden turn may occur for the following reasons:
- The driver was inexperienced.
- The driver had to make a sudden turn to avoid another vehicle or object.
- The driver was distracted.
In some cases with these types of trucking accidents, another driver may have caused a truck rollover. Perhaps the offending motorist stopped suddenly, forcing the truck driver to take evasive action. The maneuver caused the truck driver to lose control, resulting in a turnover.
Overall, speed represents nearly half of all truck rollovers. Moreover, accidents can occur when drivers speed with an improperly-loaded truck.
Since trucks have a high gravity center, loaders must distribute the cargo evenly throughout the trailer. Speeding can cause the cargo to shift, throwing the center of gravity off-kilter. A tip-over occurs when the driver speeds, shifting the cargo weight to one side of the trailer.
Rollovers can also occur at sudden curves. Drivers must slow down to adjust for the curvature. When it comes to road curves, many drivers assess the wrong speeds. Motorists have no time to react if truck drivers speed around road curves.
In many cases, truck rollovers will impede traffic as first-responders remove the truck. In more dire circumstances, truck rollovers can kill or inure multiple motorists. Truck rollovers represent some of the highest trucking fatalities.
3. Blind Spot Accidents
Drivers are most vulnerable when they’re in a trucker’s blind spot. The driver may not see you as they enter your lane. The truck may crash into the motorist or force the motorist off the road. In worst cases, the truck could crush your vehicle.
Truck drivers have more than one blind spot:
- The direct front
- The direct back
- Each side (especially the right side)
These blind areas are No Zones. You’re in a No Zone when a driver cannot see you. Many motorists also think blind spots are common in semi-trucks alone, but many other types of trucks have blind spots.
- Example: Trash truck accidents often occur because motorists failed to get out of the blind zone. Large garbage trucks have multiple blind spots. Also, garbage trucks have fewer mirrors.
If you cannot see a driver’s reflection in the side mirror, you may be in a danger zone.
What Types of Trucking Accidents Should Be on My Radar the Most?
The most common types of trucking accidents can happen during a jackknife or a rollover. Further, be mindful of blind spots. Regardless, you may have a case if you sustained a personal injury due to a driver’s negligence.
An accident can occur for a variety of reasons, such as fatigue, recklessness, distractions, and inexperience. However, a truck accident lawyer can help you from beginning to end.
Are you contending with a personal injury from a truck accident in South Carolina?