Trucks are crucial to our economy as they carry goods/cargo from one destination to another to meet the demands for goods nationwide.
But needless to say, trucks pose a high risk of accidents to vehicles sharing the road with them. Due to their sheer size and weight, accidents with large trucks or tractor-trailers can cause severe injuries to small-size vehicle drivers and passengers alike and considerable property damage.
The damage to the property and severity of injuries largely depends on the type of truck accident. Some common types of truck accidents include:
Truck rollovers can prove to be deadly for truck drivers. These accidents occur when the driver loses control over their vehicle. The loss of control can be due to different reasons such as speeding, steep incline or decline, an overloaded truck with too much cargo, or taking a curve too fast. However, tire blowout is one of the most common causes of rollover accidents in 18 wheelers. Many rollover truck accidents are preventable if the drivers and their trucking companies comply with federal and state regulations.
Tractor-trailers and semi-trucks have two parts—the trailer and the cab. Below the trailer’s forward area that connects with the cab lies a hitch. This hitch is a movable joint. It pivots when a tractor-trailer makes a turn. So, a jackknife truck accident happens when the trailer continues to move and pivots onto the hitch. Thus, it resembles a folding jackknife when the trailer of the truck swings towards the cab.
One of the most common reasons for such an accident is improper braking. When the truck driver brakes quickly, it makes the truck skid, increasing the jackknife’s chances.
Rear-End Truck Accident
If a driver of an 18 wheeler, weighing up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded and driving at 60mph, fails to realize the stopping distance needed, they expose themselves to the risk of rear-end collision. This is because the heavyweight and massive size of an 18 wheeler require more time and space to stop than a lightweight vehicle. When a car driving in front of an 18 wheeler or a heavy-duty truck stops suddenly, maneuvers, or makes a quick turn, it can be difficult for truck drivers to slow down and stop immediately.
And that is precisely why the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) recommends the drivers of 18 wheelers and semi-trucks leave at least 5 to 6-second gaps to minimize the risk of rear-end accidents.
This type of accident is said to be an extension of a truck rear-end collision. Such an accident may occur when a small vehicle hits the back of the truck near the same level as the vehicle’s top, thereby causing the car to go under the truck’s rear trailer and get lodged. Hence, the name— underride accident.
Like rear-end accidents, underride crashes may occur when a driver is impaired, tired, or distracted.
T-Bone or Side Impact Collision
As the name suggests, a T-bone or side-impact collision occurs when the truck driver strikes the side of a vehicle. This type of accident occurs from the side rather than the front or rear of a vehicle. Here it is essential to understand that T-bone accidents can cause severe injuries to passengers. This is because when a truck crashes into the rear or front of a vehicle, you have the bumper and engine compartments to protect you. However, if it strikes your car from the side, you don’t have such compartments for protection. The only protection you have is the door. Thus injuries can be severe.
Side impact accidents may occur because the driver fails to yield, drives under the influence of drugs, or runs a red light. The risk of such accidents is also high when truck drivers turn across several lanes of traffic.
Head-on Truck Accident
A head-on accident occurs when the front end of a vehicle strikes the front of a truck. Such an accident mainly occurs at high speeds. In a head-on collision, the truck driver may lose control and swerve into oncoming traffic. Head-on collisions usually happen when the driver is:
- Distracted while driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Fatigued because of demanding schedules and long hours of driving without any rest breaks
A wide turn is when the truck driver tries to steer or swing left to make a right turn. This maneuver becomes dangerous for the vehicles and pedestrians if the driver is unaware of the rear traffic and the surroundings on the right.
Hire a Truck Accident Lawyer in North Carolina and South Carolina for Case Representation
Get in touch with us today if you or a loved one were seriously injured in a truck accident due to the truck driver’s negligence. At the Law Office of Jason E. Taylor P.C., our experienced truck accident lawyers in North Carolina and South Carolina can help you navigate through the legal complexities involved in a truck accident. We strive to see the process go smoothly and fight for total compensation for your losses and injuries.
Our lawyers can handle all aspects of the case while you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today. Let us investigate your case to determine the most crucial questions like how the accident occurred, what caused it, and why. Answers to all these questions can help us establish a strong case against the liable party and for the compensation you deserve.