Deliveries by big rigs keep this nation functioning. However, large trucks can also be the source of devastating crashes. Their size and weight can quickly turn what might otherwise be a minor accident into something fatal.
While all kinds of problems can occur when a semi is on the road, three types of accidents are especially common: jackknife, rollover and underride crashes.
Among the most dangerous types of truck accidents is the jackknife. This occurs when the cab of the truck folds in on itself so that the trailer ends up at a 90-degree angle (or close to it) from the cab. Jackknife accidents typically happen when the truck’s trailer swings to one side at a sharper angle than the cab, causing the driver to lose control. They’re usually caused by slippery road conditions, excessive speed and aggressive braking, and more than a third of them cause fatalities.
These kinds of wrecks happen when a smaller vehicle collides with the back or side of a truck and slips beneath it. Underride accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities for the occupants of the smaller vehicle. They can be prevented with the right kind of rear and side underride guards, but those are not always in place. They’re often caused when a truck makes a sudden lane change or an unexpected stop.
Rollover accidents involve a truck tipping onto its side or roof, often causing significant damage and posing a substantial risk to both the truck driver and other road users. A truck’s high center of gravity and the weight distribution of the cargo make rollover crashes more likely to happen, especially when a semi is overloaded, a trucker is speeding or the driver misjudges the road and overcompensates on a turn.
If you’ve been involved in a truck crash or a loved one was killed as a result of this type of collision, it is wise to seek legal guidance in order to learn more about your rights and options under the law.