Types of Truck Accidents
Trucks are a common sight on our country’s highways and interstates. These vehicles are an important part of our economy, carrying goods from one place to another to meet the demands of our growing population. Although they are essential to society’s survival, large vehicles can pose a high risk to motorists, especially when truck drivers are negligent, trucks left in disrepair and company owners ignoring government safety regulations.
Truck accidents of all types cause some of the greatest devastation seen on today’s highways. Due to the sheer size alone, large trucks can cause considerable property damage and inflict catastrophic injury on a number of innocent victims.
Below are some of the most common types of truck accidents:
Jackknifing is when a big rig folds itself so that the cab forms a 90-degree angle with the trailer, usually caused when a driver brakes hard and quickly. The weight of the trailer brings it forward against the traction of the cab.
If the driver loses control of a truck, it can slide and roll over onto its side, taking innocent motorists with it.
Tire blowouts can happen with any vehicle, often forcing it uncontrollably in wayward directions. This can pose a danger to the driver as well as nearby vehicles.
When a driver first steers or “swings” left to make a right turn, it is known as a wide turn. When the driver is not aware of rear traffic or the right side surroundings, it can trap vehicles or even pedestrians.
A truck’s blind spots can be significant, so much that they have a name: “No Man’s Land.” When a truck driver can’t see other vehicles while changing lanes, it puts adjacent vehicles in tremendous danger of being hit, crushed, or forced off the road.
Due to the weight of large trucks, rear-end trucking accidents can cause serious property damage and catastrophic injuries, as well as loss of life.
When a truck stops quickly, smaller vehicles quickly approaching behind it can become lodged under the truck’s trailer. As a result, these under ride accidents are some of the deadliest trucking accidents recorded.
Improperly loaded freight and secured truck loads can fall out, causing extreme danger to nearby motorists as well as multi-car accidents.
Head-on collisions with tractor trailers are often the most devastating, causing serious injury and even death.
T-bone accidents can occur when a truck driver runs a red light and hits another vehicle perpendicularly.
Were You Injured in a Truck Accident?
When a truck driver is careless or a trucking company is negligent, it can cause unsuspecting motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians to suffer extensive injuries and cost precious lives. Unfortunately, many accidents can be avoided if the driver or truck company simply abided by safe driving and maintenance laws.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a trucking accident, the attorneys at Fried Goldberg are here to help. We have extensive experience representing victims of trucking accidents, and a proven track record of delivering just verdicts to help our clients regain their lives.
A thorough understanding of the complex laws and regulations relating to the trucking industry gives us a valuable edge. Our team will aggressively pursue the party at fault to make sure your family gets the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. To find out how we can help you recover, contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Common Trucks on the Road
There are many types of commercial trucks on U.S. roadways, each designed to perform a specific task. The most common large truck types and the risk they pose to motorists and pedestrians include:
Dump & Garbage Trucks
Garbage, trash, and other work vehicles such as dump trucks, can be extremely hazardous to those driving, cycling or walking in close proximately. These vehicles are often in residential areas carrying large loads of waste, dry materials, dirt, demolition debris, gravel, sand and other construction materials. The loads are often top-heavy causing a risk of large blind spots, tip-over, or falling or flying debris.
These cargo-hauling trucks are also known as “semi-trailers,” “big rigs,” or “18-wheelers.” They have considerable blind spots and a high center of gravity that makes them prone to roll overs. Combined with the fact that many big rig drivers are behind the wheel for long stretches of time, tractor-trailers can be extremely dangerous to other drivers.
A tanker truck hauls liquids or gases, many of which are classified hazardous materials. Due to their size and shape, large tankers are prone to rollovers. This can be extremely dangerous if the hauled liquid or gas is flammable, or if toxic substance fumes are released.
Flatbeds have a long open trailer to accommodate loading and unloading cargo. Flatbed trucking accidents often involve improperly secured cargo that becomes dislodged from the truck, hitting other vehicles or causing massive accidents.
Usually run by private operators who inadequately train drivers, these large vehicles weigh more than 10,000 pounds and account for a majority of today’s accidents.
Common Accident Causes
According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia, there were 182 crash fatalities in 2015 involving large trucks. Although nature plays a significant role in some accidents, most others can be avoided if truck drivers and the companies behind them weren’t so careless.
Snow, ice, rain, fog and extreme wind make it difficult for truck drivers to always maintain safe driving. Drivers can lose control and cause multi-car pileups that severely injure motorists.
Poor Road Conditions
Unpaved or pothole-ridden roads, and narrow lanes or highways without shoulders can make truck driving especially hazardous on our roadways.
Trying to maneuver around construction by driving on the shoulder of the road or in the median can easily cause a collision.
Inadequate or Improper Training
An improperly trained truck driver lacking skills in defensive driving, handling the vehicle and other safety elements, is always a high risk to other motorists on the road.
Driver Unfamiliarity or Inexperience with Roads
Truck drivers who aren’t familiar with problematic routes or prepared for narrow, curvy or rough roads can quickly lose control of the vehicle and collide with anything in its way.
A large load can create tire blowouts, causing the truck to jackknife, tip over due to too much weight or produce flying debris that can cause cars to swerve and collide.
Mechanical Malfunction or Poor Maintenance
Worn tires and braking systems can cause drivers to lose control and cause horrific accidents. All truck maintenance checks must be documented, which means a truck company can be held responsible for an accident if faulty equipment is found to blame.
- Unsafe and careless driving
- Driver inattention or distraction due to texting, using GPS or talking
- Driver fatigue
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Road rage or aggressive driving
- Failure to check for blind spots before turning or changing lanes
- Frequent lane changes
- Failure to use turn signals and improper turning
- Not obeying road rules
Passenger Vehicle Drivers
Truck drivers not only have to worry about their own driving abilities, but also the driving skills and attentiveness of other drivers on the road.
Negligent and Erratic Driving
Large trucks need significantly more time and distance to decrease their speed than a regular car. Swerving in front of a truck to change lanes or merge can easily lead to an accident with a truck driver’s limited response time.
On highways, it may be tough to gauge how much room there is when trying to pass a large truck. Drivers should always avoid passing on hills or curves, and avoid doing it unless there is plenty of room to pass without causing the truck driver to brake.
If you’ve driven behind a large truck before you may have seen a sticker that says, “If you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” Take this seriously. If you’re in the truck driver’s blind spot, he/she may have limited or zero visibility of your vehicle. It’s never a good idea to closely follow any vehicle, but tailgating a truck is worse because it requires more room to maneuver.
Truck drivers can have a tough time making sharp turns on busy city streets. Even turns deemed “normal” for a passenger car can be challenging for a large truck due to its length. A motorist should never race by a truck in order to turn first.
Commercial Trucking is a Complex Area of Law
The commercial trucking industry is regulated by a detailed set of federal and state laws. Trucking regulations cover issues concerning vehicles, their drivers, and commercial trucking company operations. If you have been in a truck accident, it’s crucial that your trucking accident attorney understands this network of laws and regulations to help win your case. For example, weight restriction violations and driving beyond a set time frame can both sway a case in the plaintiff’s favor.
Victims injured in trucking accidents who are not represented by a knowledgeable attorney take a big risk. Corporate insurers do everything they can to win in court or avoid paying out a claim. You need experienced representation to go up against companies and insurance carriers with deep pockets and resources. A competent law firm can make all the difference in helping you receive the compensation you deserve. To minimize risk, chose a firm that specializes in truck accidents like Fried Goldberg.
The Fried Goldberg Difference
At Fried Goldberg, our lawyers are well versed in trucking accidents. 95% of our case load is dedicated to representing victims of trucking accidents.
Equally important, our experience in this complex area of law helps us to win big cases and settlements so that our clients have what they need to properly heal and move on.
Schedule Your Truck Accident Consultation Today
If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries in a truck accident, don’t wait to contact Fried Goldberg for a free, no-obligation case review. We want to help you heal both physically and financially.
We are committed to helping clients just like you regain their lives by providing personal, compassionate representation. You deserve to be fairly compensated for your injuries and loss, and we are here to help you do that.
The Truck Accident Attorneys
The Truck Accident Attorneys at Fried Goldberg LLC devote at least 75% of their caseload to representing the victims of accidents involving tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles. Our extensive experience with the laws governing the trucking industry is the reason we are routinely successful at taking on trucking companies when someone is seriously injured.
Get a Free Case Evaluation
The Truck Accident Attorneys
The Truck Accident Attorneys at Fried Goldberg LLC devote at least 95% of their caseload to representing the victims of accidents involving tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles. Our extensive experience with the laws governing the trucking industry is the reason we are routinely successful at taking on trucking companies when someone is seriously injured.
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