7 Common Truck and 18-Wheeler Accidents
Large commercial trucks – including 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and tractor-trailers — make up nearly 13% of all motor vehicle traffic in the United States.
While trucking remains a vital sector of the nation’s economy, these big rigs pose a real danger to other motorists, especially if the trucking company and its driver are negligent, ignore vehicle maintenance, or fail to abide by state and federal trucking regulations.
The vast majority of truck and 18-wheeler accident deaths and injuries involve the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles. Because of their sheer size, just about any type of truck crash can have catastrophic consequences for anyone in the path of a big rig.
Some of the most common types of truck and 18-wheeler accidents include:
18-Wheeler Jackknife Accidents
A jackknife 18-wheeler crash occurs when the trailer and cab skid in opposite directions. The trailer appears to fold on a hinge and comes to rest at an angle to the cab, similar to the way a jackknife will fold in on itself.
According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, jackknife accidents account for 10% of all trucking-related deaths.
When a semi-truck jackknifes, there’s not much a trucker can do to control their rig. Severe injuries and deaths usually occur when the momentum of the crash propels the 18-wheeler across the highway and into the path of other vehicles.
Truck Rollover Accidents
With such a high center of gravity, it’s not uncommon for commercial trucks to roll over when a driver loses control. Because an 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer is 40-times heavier than a typical passenger vehicle, the occupants of any smaller cars, pickups, or SUVs are more likely to sustain severe and fatal injuries if the rig rolls onto their vehicles.
Rollover accidents may occur because a trucker failed to adjust speed to curves in the road, improperly loaded cargo, and poorly maintained brakes. Other major crash contributors include driver inattention, fatigued truckers, and distracted driving.
A tire blowout can force a tractor-trailer or other big rig out of its lane and into the path of other vehicles. The vast majority of truck tire blowouts occur because the driver or the trucking company failed to inspect the tires regularly and maintain or replace them as needed.
Innocent motorists may be injured or killed when a blowout causes a trucker to lose control or shredded parts of the tire force other drivers to swerve suddenly.
Federal regulations mandate that trucking companies regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles, including the tires.
An 18-wheeler or other large truck has significantly larger blind spots compared to a typical motor vehicle. If a trucker is unable to see adjacent vehicles while changing lanes or making a wide turn, the rig might strike, crush, or run other motorists off the road.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), roughly one-third of all crashes between cars and trucks occur when the smaller vehicle is in a rig’s blind spot.
Because of their massive size, an 18-wheeler or semi-truck requires 20% to 40% more room to stop than a typical passenger vehicle. Rear-end collisions often occur because a truck driver was following another vehicle too closely, traveling at an excessive speed, distracted or fatigued, or failed to ensure brakes were in good working order.
Rear-end crashes may also occur in work zones with stop-and-start traffic or when an 18-wheeler doesn’t have time to stop and avoid an earlier accident.
Underride Truck Accidents
Because 18-wheelers have a higher profile than most passenger vehicles, cars traveling behind a big rig may become trapped beneath the trailer if the truck stops quickly. The FMCSA requires all tractor-trailers to have rear-guards, and the back and sides must have retroreflective tape in a red and white alternating pattern to ensure the rig is visible to motorists.
Many underride crashes occur when a truck lacks rear guards or is using outdated guards. Defective tail lights or reflective tape can also contribute to an underride truck accident. Truckers who fail to use road flares or reflective triangles when parked on the shoulder, or neglect to activate their emergency flashers when entering or exiting the roadway, have also caused underride crashes.
T-bone accidents usually occur when a truck runs a red light or Stop sign at an intersection and collides with the side of another vehicle. These types of crashes may also occur if a trucker fails to yield the right of way, is driving while impaired, or doesn’t take the time to ensure it is safe before making a turn.
When a car is t-boned by an 18-wheeler or other large commercial truck, the occupants of the smaller vehicle usually bear the full brunt of the collision and frequently suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation with Our Undefeated Truck and 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers
Having won billions — including the Largest Truck Accident Settlement in Texas for 2019 — for thousands of truck and 18-wheeler accident victims in Texas, Louisiana, and across the United States, our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers have come to believe the vast majority of commercial trucking crashes are entirely preventable and usually result from negligence on the part of the trucking company and its driver.
But because truck accident injuries are generally more severe and result in significantly higher verdicts and settlements compared to typical motor vehicle crashes, the company, its insurance carrier, and their teams of attorneys will downplay your injuries, blame you for the crash, and even “lose” or destroy vital evidence to avoid paying you and your family the compensation you truly deserve.
If you or someone you love were injured or tragically killed in a truck or 18-wheeler crash, our Experienced Accident Attorneys have the resources and knowledge to take on the biggest trucking and insurance companies in the world and ensure you and your family are fully compensated for all of your injuries and losses.
Please call 1-888-603-3636, use the “chat” button on our homepage, or click here to send us a confidential email through our “Contact Us” form.
All consultations are free, and because we work on a contingency fee, you won’t owe us a cent unless we win your case.