What Are Common Types of Truck Accidents?
10 Most Common Types of Truck Accidents
Unfortunately, truck accidents are common in the United States and often result in catastrophic injuries. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), large truck crashes increased by 18% between 2020 and 2021. About 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal traffic accidents were large trucks. Truck accidents can be caused in many different ways. Understanding the most common types of truck accidents is crucial for all road users.
1. Head-On Truck Accidents
Head-on crashes occur when the front ends of two vehicles collide. Head-on collisions between trucks and other vehicles are very dangerous and can lead to severe damage due to the truck’s size and weight. Factors such as truck driver fatigue, distraction, or poor road conditions often contribute to these kinds of accidents.
2. Wide-Turn Accidents
Trucks have wide turning radius making them more susceptible to collisions during turns. These kinds of accidents can also involve smaller vehicles attempting to pass a turning truck. When a truck driver is turning, both the truck driver and other motorists need to take extra precautions. Other vehicles should ensure they are not in the truck’s blind spot and should not try to pass the truck.
3. Cargo Load Accidents
Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo can lead to serious accidents. Shifting cargo can affect a truck’s balance, causing it to tip over or spill its load. Proper loading procedures and regular inspections are crucial to prevent accidents related to cargo issues. If a truck’s cargo is not secured or loaded property, the cargo loaders may be liable.
4. Rear-End Truck Accidents
These accidents occur when a truck crashes with the vehicle in front of it. Due to their weight and size, trucks require much more time and space to prepare for a stop. Factors like sudden braking or distracted driving can contribute to rear-end collisions.
5. Rollover Truck Accidents
A truck rollover accident is one of the most dangerous kinds of crashes. Trucks are more prone to rollover accidents due to their high center of gravity. Speeding, sharp turns, or uneven road surfaces can contribute to a truck losing balance and rolling over.
6. Jackknife Accidents
Jackknifing happens when a truck’s cab and tractor-trailer fold into each other at a 90-degree angle. This typically occurs when a truck driver loses control, and the trailer swings out. Weather conditions, abrupt maneuvers, or equipment failure can contribute to jackknife accidents.
7. Truck Tire Blowouts
Tire blowouts are hazardous, especially for large trucks. A blown-out tire can lead to loss of control, resulting in accidents. Regular tire maintenance, proper inflation, and timely replacements are essential to help prevent blowouts.
8. Underride Truck Accidents
Underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicle slides underneath the rear or side of a truck. These accidents are often severe and can lead to catastrophic injuries or fatalities. Improved safety features, such as rear guards help reduce the risk of underride accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), each trailer and semitrailer must have rear guards to prevent another vehicle from riding underneath.
9. T-Bone Accidents
T-bone accidents involve the front of one vehicle striking the side of another at a right angle. Intersections are common locations for T-bone accidents, and trucks, due to their size, can cause significant damage in these collisions.
10. Brake Failure Accidents
Brake failure can be catastrophic for a truck. Factors such as inadequate maintenance, worn-out brake pads, or hydraulic system issues can result in a brake failure. Regular inspections and prompt maintenance are crucial to prevent accidents stemming from brake failure.
Why Are Truck Collisions Rising Across the Country?
Truck collisions have been on the rise, raising concerns about road safety. Several factors contribute to this alarming trend:
Driving for consecutive hours, especially without breaks, can lead to truck driver fatigue. Drowsy driving is very dangerous as it can alter decision-making and reaction times. Strict adherence to driving hour regulations and the promotion of regular breaks can help mitigate the risk of fatigue-related accidents.
Both truck drivers and other motorists must prioritize staying focused on the road to reduce the risk of accidents.
Insufficient training for truck drivers can lead to errors on the road. Proper education on handling large vehicles, navigating challenging road conditions, and responding to emergencies is essential to enhance overall safety. A trucking company that employs under-trained drivers may be held liable for the damages caused by accidents with its drivers.
Neglected truck maintenance, especially regarding crucial components like brakes and tires, can result in malfunctions leading to accidents. Regular inspections and timely repairs are imperative to ensure that safety regulations are met.
Adverse weather conditions and poorly maintained roads contribute to accidents involving trucks.
What Are the Most Common Injuries for Truck Accident Victims?
Truck accidents often result in severe injuries due to the sheer size and weight of these kinds of vehicles. Large trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles. In 2021, there were 117,300 large trucks were involved in accidents that resulted in injury. This is a 12% increase from 2020. Common injuries sustained by truck accident victims include:
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs):
Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, can occur in truck accidents, especially in high-impact collisions. TBIs can lead to long-term cognitive impairments, affecting the victim’s quality of life.
Spinal cord injuries:
The force of a truck collision can cause spinal cord injuries, leading to paralysis or permanent disability. Victims may require extensive medical care and rehabilitation.
The impact of a truck accident can result in bone fractures and breaks. More severe injuries may require surgical intervention and prolonged recovery periods.
The force exerted in a truck accident can cause internal injuries, including organ damage or internal bleeding.
Soft tissue injuries:
Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries are common in rear-end collisions and sudden stops. These kinds of injuries can cause chronic pain and long-term discomfort.
In accidents involving hazardous materials or fires, burn injuries can occur. These injuries often require specialized medical care and may result in long-term physical and emotional trauma.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
The psychological impact of a truck accident can lead to PTSD. Truck accident victims may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety related to the traumatic event.
What Damages Can Truck Accident Lawyers Help Recover?
Truck accident victims may be entitled to various damages, and seeking legal representation can help recover these losses. Experienced truck accident lawyers can help you pursue fair compensation for:
- Medical expenses: Victims of truck accidents often face substantial medical bills, including hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment.
- Lost wages: Serious injuries can cause victims to miss work so they can focus on their recovery.
- Pain and suffering: Physical injuries and emotional trauma can result in significant pain and suffering.
- Property damage: Damage to the victim’s vehicle and personal property is a common consequence of truck accidents.
- Wrongful death: In the tragic event of a wrongful death caused by a truck accident, family members may be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and other damages.
Contact an Experienced Semi-Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it’s crucial to contact an experienced semi-truck accident attorney today. At Commonwealth Accident Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping truck accident victims obtain justice. Our personal injury attorneys maintain a 99% success rate and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. During a free consultation, we will assess the details of your accident and determine the viability of your truck accident case.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified attorney who can provide the support and advocacy you need during this challenging time. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.