Truck accidents occur for many different reasons. Some trucking companies neglect to maintain their vehicles and avoid proper government safety regulations. Drivers also can be responsible if they do not adhere to proper safety laws while driving or if they do not get adequate rest and drive while drowsy. Regardless of liability, trucks and other large vehicles can sometimes endanger other motorists and cause some serious accidents.
If you were recently injured in a trucking accident, find out if you have a case by speaking to a truck wreck lawyer in Houston.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 475,000 large truck crashes in the U.S. in 2016. Here are some of the most common types of truck accidents.
A jackknife accident occurs when an 18-wheeler truck skids so the trailer swings out from behind and form a 90-degree angle with the truck. It’s called a jackknife because the angle resembles the blade of a jackknife in relation to its case. A driver cannot undo a jackknife himself/herself and needs the assistance of other vehicles. This type of accident occurs from swerving suddenly, taking a turn too quickly, slippery conditions or driver negligence. Jackknife accidents often result in serious injuries and liability claims. Find out what you should do after a jackknife accident here.
A rollover occurs when a driver loses control, and the truck rolls over onto its side. Speeding can cause a rollover, especially if a driver is going too fast in wet conditions. Speeding around a curve is another cause for rollovers. Improper loading of cargo is a huge reason for rollovers. If the load is not secure inside the trailer, the cargo can shift while the truck is in motion. The truck’s high center of gravity decreases stability and means any shift or sliding of the load can g cause an imbalance that may tip a truck over. Liquids are especially problematic because the load is constantly shifting from side-to-side and decreasing the stability of the truck.
Tire blowouts occur when a damaged tire succumbs to too much air pressure rips apart. Drivers often see shredded black rubber along the sides of roads which are the remains of tire blowouts. Many think blowouts occur from too much tire pressure, but most blowouts happen due to too little air pressure which allows the tire to over-flex. This over-flexion causes overheating, so the rubber unfastens from the internal fabric and reinforcements. Blowouts result from overloading a truck, slow loss of air pressure from a puncture, rapid loss of air from severe cut or impact damage.
Improperly-secured loads can cause a load to fall off the back of a truck resulting in extreme danger for following vehicles. This type of accident normally occurs at high speeds, preventing other drivers from reacting quickly enough to avoid hitting the load. Lost loads can involve large and heavy objects, as well as liquids which can fall with tremendous force and then make roads dangerously slippery.
An underride incident happens when a truck stops unexpectedly, and the vehicle behind it doesn’t have time to stop. The vehicle becomes lodged underneath the trailer of the 18-wheeler. A side underride occurs when a vehicle crashes into the side of a truck which rips off the top of the vehicle from the force of the collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires trucks to have rear guards but it does not yet require side guard rails. According to NBC news, 200 people die in underride accidents every year. Side guards are an easy solution for preventing side underride accidents according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Yet, side guard rails are still not mandatory for trucks.
While these are the some of the most common trucking accidents, many other types exist. Regardless of the kind of incident, the damages can be extensive and life-changing. Contacting an attorney after such an accident can help you take the first steps to recover the compensation you deserve.