In another blog post we published recently, we discussed the ten most common causes of truck accidents. Truck accidents can be extremely catastrophic collisions because of the size of commercial vehicles compared to the average size of passenger vehicles; these crashes often result in fatalities or serious injuries, and are usually the fault of a negligent driver who is speeding, fatigued, driving under the influence, driving aggressively, etc.
Knowing why truck accidents occur can help you as a driver stay safer on the roads, but knowing how truck accidents occur can help even more – the more information you have, the more you as a driver will learn to avoid certain conditions or will be more careful and cautious while driving around large trucks.
Here are some of the different types of truck accidents that you should be aware of:
- Wide Turn Collisions
Because trucks are so large, they can be difficult to maneuver. If a driver steers left first in order to have more room to make a right turn, this is known as a wide turn. If there is rear traffic or there are cars on their right/left side that the truck driver is unaware of, this can lead to trapped vehicles and motorcyclists or even injure pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Head-On Collisions
When a truck driver swerves into oncoming traffic in the next lane or across a median, (either due to fatigue, drink driving, vehicle malfunction, or some other reason), they may collide with another driver at full force head on, which usually results in fatal or permanently disabling injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 31% of passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in two-vehicle crashes with a large truck in 2018 were in vehicles that were struck head on by the truck.
- Jackknife Accidents
Commercial trucks like semi-trucks and tractor trailers have two separate parts (a cab and a trailer) that are connected by a movable accessory called a hitch. This flexes to allow the truck to make turns. If the driver brakes too quickly or in inclement weather, the cab may skid while the trailer continues to move and pivot – which causes the truck to fold in on itself (the cab and trailer may end up next to each other, facing opposite directions). Other vehicles near the truck may crash into the jackknifed truck, which can lead to massive highway pileups.
- Rollover Accidents
Most of the time, truck drivers do not walk away from truck accidents with serious injuries, regardless of the severity of the crash, but rollover accidents are the exception; when the truck driver loses control of the vehicle due to a malfunction, speeding, or being overloaded, and attempts to turn the vehicle in order to round a curve or corner, the truck may rollover. A truck rollover accident is defined as the truck losing contact with the road, leading the truck to end up on its side or upside down because it has a high center of gravity. Rollover accidents are some of the most deadly for truck drivers.
- T-Bone Accidents
T-Bone truck accidents are also known as angle, broadside, or side-impact collisions and happen most frequently at intersections. In this type of accident, the full force of a truck can slam into the side of the vehicle if either driver ran a red light or stop sign while speeding or distracted. These types of accidents are less frequent than many others on this list but can still cause serious injuries or fatalities.
- Underride Accidents
Underride accidents can sometimes be classified as rear-end collisions, but occur anytime a truck and passenger vehicle collide and the vehicle slides under the truck. The car will often get lodged underneath the truck, depending on its size, and will ride underneath until the truck comes to a halt. If the truck’s brake lights were not working or being used properly, or if the driver changed lanes without signaling, or if the required underride guards were absent from the truck, then an underride accident may happen. These types of accidents are particularly dangerous for drivers of passenger vehicles and can lead to fatalities or severe injuries.
- Override Accidents
Underride accidents happen when a smaller passenger vehicle rear ends a truck, but override accidents happen when trucks rear end the smaller vehicle. If a truck driver is not able to stop, they may run over the smaller car in what is known as an override accident. These types of accidents can occur when the truck driver is following another vehicle too closely, experiences brake failure, or is otherwise distracted. Override accidents can prove to be just as fatal or devastating as underride accidents depending on the circumstances.
- Lost Loads
If the truck’s cargo has been improperly loaded and secured, the load can fall out or off, causing anything the truck is carrying to spill out onto the road and become a hazard to nearby motorists, or directly collide with moving vehicles next to the truck. Lost loads may cause multiple vehicles to pile up, leading to even more injuries and fatalities.
- Tire Blowouts
When a commercial vehicle’s tire blows out, the whole truck may be forced uncontrollably in different and unpredictable directions. Weakened tires may be subjected to sudden pressure or impact (like potholes, being underinflated, experiencing heat, overloading, debris on the road, etc.), which can cause the tire to burst or to lose pressure quickly.
If you are the injured victim of any of these types of truck accidents, The Florida Law Group’s experienced truck accident attorneys can help! We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our Florida clients in the Greater Tampa Bay area, Orlando, and Miami. We never let you settle for less than what you deserve! Our law firm proudly offers free consultations and charges clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you do not have to pay us anything unless we win your case!