Types Of Big Truck Accidents
Rollover Truck Accidents
A “rollover” is exactly what it sounds like — it’s when a truck rolls to one side as a result of:
- Sudden maneuvers
- Improper cargo loading
- Dangerous or slippery roads
- Failure to perform proper maintenance
- Driver error
“Jackknifing” is when the cab and the trailer of a big-rig or 18-wheeler fold at their joint. When something causes the back of the trailer to swing forward or move forward faster than the cab, it creates a sharp angle and the truck is left facing two directions.
At that point, the truck driver has lost control of the vehicle. This is dangerous for nearby cars because they could collide with the swinging trailer or wedge underneath as an underride.
Jackknifing is one of the most common truck accidents. It could be caused by:
- Equipment malfunction
- Locked wheels
- Brake failure
- Weather conditions
- Loose cargo
- Incorrect maneuvering
Underride Truck Accidents
An underride accident occurs when a passenger car goes underneath a semi-truck, either from the rear or along the side. The height difference between the vehicles may crush the top and front of a car and leave its occupants seriously injured.
Although many trucks are equipped with underride guards (metal barriers designed to prevent a car from proceeding underneath), these guards are often not strong enough to withstand a severe impact.
Unsecured Load Accidents
The trucking industry is subject to a variety of federal regulations for loading cargo. The key to cargo hauling is that it must be firmly secured to the vehicle. A truck’s restraints must be appropriate for the weight and type of cargo being transported.
An unsecured load presents a hazard not only to vehicles and persons in the immediate vicinity of the truck but also to cars, pedestrians and bicyclists which may be struck hours later by debris left on the roadway following a load spill. Unsecured loads observed on roads or highways should be immediately reported by calling 911 – doing so may save lives.
Tire Blowout Truck Accidents
Tires on semi-trucks are often stressed by excessive use and heavy loads. When a big rig has a tire blowout, it can cause the vehicle to swerve into another lane, roll over or jackknife. Often, a tire blowout is caused by defective manufacturing or improper maintenance.
The best way to protect yourself from being involved in a tire blowout accident is to maintain as much space as possible between your vehicle and trucks on the road. When you need to pass a truck, make sure there is plenty of space ahead of the truck so you can pass quickly and not drive alongside the truck for any longer than necessary.
Hazmat Truck Accidents
A Hazmat truck is one that carries hazardous material — it could be anything from gasoline, explosives, motor oil, activated charcoal, pesticides, infectious biological substances, radioactive material, lithium batteries or dry ice.
The danger of a Hazmat truck accident depends on the type of cargo. Some materials are deemed hazardous because they’re flammable and there’s a risk of explosion or fire. In other situations, it could be a substance that’s harmful when airborne because it’s dangerous to breathe.
In a situation where the hazard becomes airborne or causes a fire, an injury can happen even without a collision. In fact, a person can be injured from a Hazmat truck accident even if they aren’t on the roadway. If an accident causes noxious vapors to be released into the air, for example, residents in nearby neighborhoods could be affected.