What is the most common type of truck accident? As we all know, trucks are a regular part of our nation’s ecosystem. These vehicles carry goods in bulk from one region to another to meet the needs of our growing population. Though they are vital for survival, trucks being large-sized can pose threats to smaller automobiles and other vehicles. This is especially true if the truck driver is being negligent and when company owners disregard safety regulations pertaining to their trucks.
The truck accident attorneys at Krasney Law are highly experienced in navigating the complexities associated with truck accident claims. Regardless of what type of truck is responsible for your truck accident injuries, you must not be held financially responsible for the damages that you incur for not being at-fault. Our truck accident attorneys can guide you in pursuing a fair and deserving compensation for your truck accident injury claim.
What are the most common trucks on roads?
Several types of commercial trucks operate on roadways in the US and each of them is designed to perform a specific task. Let’s take a closer look at all types of commercial trucks and the risks they typically pose to pedestrians or oncoming vehicles.
- Tanker trucks- A tanker truck is responsible for transporting gases or liquids. These materials are often classified as hazardous. Also, because of the shape and size of these trucks, they are at risk of rollovers. Such incidents can be dangerous for public safety since the liquid or gas contained within could be inflammable. They could also be toxic if fumes are released following accidents.
- Garbage and dump trucks- Trucks used for collecting trash and garbage can be risky for pedestrians or those cycling in close proximity. These trucks frequent residential areas and carry large amounts of waste, dry materials, dirt, sand, debris, gravel, and other materials. Overloaded dump trucks could cause debris to fall or fly over on top of other vehicles or people and thereby pose risk to their safety.
- Tow trucks- Tow trucks are among the largest sized trucks in operation currently, weighing above 10,000 pounds. They are used to tow vehicles that have malfunctioned or are parked in an inappropriate location. Tow trucks are typically run by private operators who often fail to train drivers responsibly. Consequently, these trucks are the cause of the majority of road accidents at present.
- Tractor-trailers- These are cargo-hauling trucks which are also commonly known as “big rigs” or “semi-trailers”. They have large blind spots and a high center of gravity which puts them at risk of rollovers. Drivers of these trucks are often behind the wheel for long hours due to which tractor-trailers can be highly dangerous to the safety of other drivers.
- Flatbed trucks- Flatbed trucks usually have a long open trailer which accommodate unloading and loading cargo. Accidents involving flatbed trucks include improperly secured cargo which tends to get dislodged from the truck thereby leading to major accidents.
Statistics on truck accidents
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), almost 500,000 truck accidents occurred in the US alone in 2018. The risk of these accidents grew by 31% from 2009 to 2018.
In addition, truck accidents led to injuries in almost 21% of passengers and deaths in 1% of passengers. In nearly 67% of big rig truck accidents, passengers in the vehicle which got hit by a truck were most likely to be injured or killed. Statistics from 2018 led experts to conclude that for every one million citizens, there was a 13.5% risk of being involved in a truck accident.
What is the most common type of truck accident?
At Krasney Law, we see several types of truck accident cases. Some of these occur more frequently than the others. Here we shall look at the most common types of truck accidents and why they usually occur.
Jackknife accidents happen when trucks with articulated joints in between the tractor and the trailer make irregular turns or breaking maneuvers. The resulting force on these joints causes the trailer to swing wide near its pivot point which then creates a shape similar to that of a folding jackknife. This type of accident is life-threatening as the skidding of the trailer can impact nearby persons or vehicles by carrying them along as the truck forges ahead through traffic.
When jackknife accidents occur, the driver has lost complete control over the trailer’s movements. Such a situation could be caused by many reasons. Some of them include locked wheels, debris, weather conditions, loose cargo, equipment malfunction, brake failure or speeding, etc.
Often, taking turns too soon causes jackknife accidents. A combination of steep angles and high speed causes cargo to shift which results in an imbalance in weight. Even if a trailer manages to not collide with other vehicles prior to coming to a stop, incoming traffic might still crash onto the distracting obstacle on the road.
Tire Blowout Accidents
You might have come across chunks of rubber tires on the road or on the shoulder while driving on the highway. These chunks indicate that a truck had a tire blowout which could be a dangerous situation. It can occur at any point of time and the sound of a blowout can cause both the truck driver and drivers nearby to react in unexpected ways.
Tire blowouts occur when there is a break or a cut in the tire. They also occur if there is a slight puncture which causes the tire to lose air gradually over time. Tire blowouts happen due to tires being worn out from excessive use or fluctuating air pressure. They might also occur because of defective manufacturing, improper maintenance, risky road conditions, imbalance in cargo load, etc. Tire blowouts can be avoided by performing regular maintenance and searching for high vibration, bulges, cuts or cracks in the sidewalls, uneven tread wear, etc.
If a truck driver loses control over their vehicle due to a tire blowout, the truck could rollover, jackknife or swerve into a different lane. You can stay safe in such a situation by avoiding driving alongside a truck for a longer time than might be necessary. Any truck that experiences a tire blowout can lead to debris flying which might hit your car’s windshield and obstruct your line of view. You might also have to make a sudden swerve if the blowout falls into your lane.
A tire blowout can occur quickly and might not give you enough time to think and respond accordingly. For your safety, it is best to avoid driving too close to a truck as much as possible.
A rollover truck accident is among the most common and catastrophic types of truck accidents. In comparison to passenger cars, large commercial trucks have a higher center of gravity and ought to be careful when making sudden swerves or tight turns. Sometimes these accidents happen because a driver took a turn too soon but they could also occur due to other reasons.
Improper cargo loading, speeding, dangerous road, or weather conditions, improper maintenance, and driver negligence can cause rollover accidents. Under these circumstances, if a driver is not careful, then the trailer might flip and roll the truck over to one side creating a dangerous situation for everyone.
Sometimes, rollover accidents might also occur when truck drivers are being safe and responsible. A tripped rollover occurs when something outside a truck like a guardrail or another vehicle hits the truck while on the road. Untripped rollovers happen due to badly maneuvered turns.
Underside truck accidents
An underside truck accident occurs when a passenger vehicle collides with a truck from the side or rear and slides underneath the truck. Since the truck is much higher than the car, there is a possibility of the front and the top of the car getting crushed. Such an accident could lead to significant injuries or even death for passengers in the vehicle.
Many trucks tend to have a metal barrier called an underside guard that prevents a smaller car from getting stuck underneath it. However, an underside guard might not provide enough protection in cases involving high-impact collisions.
Underside truck accidents might happen when-
- A truck driver fails to signal while turning
- A truck’s fluctuating speeds disrupt normal traffic flow
- There is a car in the blind spot of the truck when the latter is changing lanes
- A truck stops abruptly
- Improperly maneuvered lane shifts or turns
T-bone accidents, also called broadside crashes or side-impact crashes, happen most commonly near intersections. In these accidents, tractor-trailers or large trucks moving through intersections at perpendicular angles sometimes ignore red lights or stop signs. Violation of the proper right-of-way method causes trucks to collide with the sides of other cars which results in a “T” shape.
Drivers or passengers situated on the side of the vehicle that is impacted by a T-bone crash suffer the most in these types of accidents. Often, negligent behavior by truck drivers such as speeding, being drowsy, distracted or intoxicated leads them to cause T-bone accidents. T-bone crashes also occur when truck drivers make out-of-way turns across traffic lanes which leads vehicles to slam onto the sides of trucks or other vehicles.
Truck drivers, when negligent, reckless or distracted, could drift out of their lanes and head straight into incoming traffic. Such accidents, known as head-on collisions, can occur at stop signs, red lights, and other places when truck drivers fail to yield right-of-way to other vehicles.
Several causes can be attributed to head-on collisions on roadways. If the driver is fatigued from driving for long hours in order to meet a demanding quota, they might gravitate towards opposite lanes while dozing off. Some drivers might be under the influence of stimulants while driving and could head toward incoming traffic accidentally. In addition, tire blowouts can cause truck drivers to lose control of their vehicles and transition suddenly into other lanes, thereby leading to head-on collisions.
A sideswipe accident is similar in nature to a T-bone accident. The only difference is that in the former case, cars are typically traveling alongside each other and in the same direction when the crash occurs. There are many instances in which sideswipe accidents occur between trucks and passenger cars when commercial truck drivers do not check their blind spots prior to merging into traffic.
Sometimes, sideswipe accidents could happen when drivers lose control of their vehicles due to bad weather conditions, tire blowouts, obstacles on the road, etc. Exhausted or intoxicated drivers might also have lost their focus and could drive their vehicles into cars in adjacent lanes. Sideswipe accidents are dangerous because smaller vehicles that are impacted due to them can disrupt normal flow of traffic and cause damage to many other vehicles on the road.
In truck accidents involving rear-end collisions, the disparities in size and weight between a passenger car and a commercial vehicle can cause the former to get crushed following impact. Large trucks, being heavy, are slower to maneuver. Consequently, truck drivers require greater distance and time to slow down and come to a safe stop behind other cars.
Negligence is often attributed as a cause for rear-end collisions. Distracted driving, speeding, tailgating, etc. are all responsible for rear-end collisions. Fatigue and poor driver training can also lead to rear-end crashes. Such accidents can be avoided by ensuring that all truck drivers go through a recommended training period which would allow them to gain better experience.
Contact The Truck Accident Lawyers At Krasney Law For A Consultation Today!
At Krasney Law, our lawyers are exclusively focused on assisting California residents who have been affected by truck accidents. We understand the impact that commercial vehicle accidents can have on your life, so we are eager to provide you with assistance in recovering claims. We are here to give you basic legal advice or to represent you in court. If you would like more information for a truck accident case, schedule a consultation with our attorneys at Krasney Law today.