5 Types Of Truck Accidents To Be Aware Of

By CarsFellow 6 Min Read

Large trucks pose a unique risk to other cars on the road. When fully loaded they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, making them slower to break among other risks.

While many truck accidents occur due to the truck driver being distracted, impaired, or improperly trained, there are other parties who may be responsible for truck accidents. Manufacturers of truck parts can be held liable too if the cause of an accident was a faulty part. Other drivers on the road can also cause truck accidents, for example, if they are driving in a truck’s blind spot. Semi-trucks have many more blind spots than passenger cars, so it’s dangerous to drive near a truck and out of sight from their mirrors.

Regardless of whose fault it is, it’s good to understand the different types of truck accidents that can occur on the road, so that you can avoid them and stay safe.

Jackknife Accidents

Jackknifing can occur when a large truck breaks or turns too quickly. When the brakes are hit suddenly, the cab stops but the trailer takes longer to slow down, so it folds itself into an acute angle. This type of accident is extremely dangerous because as the large trailer skids towards the cab, it could hit any number of things. Jackknife accidents can also occur due to improperly loaded cargo or poor truck maintenance, according to the truck accident attorneys at Mickelsen Dalton.

Underride Accidents

An underride accident is one that occurs between a truck and a car. If a truck breaks too quickly and the car driving behind has no time to stop, the car can get lodged underneath the tractor trailer. These are the most dangerous type of truck accident because the top of the passenger vehicle often gets ripped completely off, exposing the driver to the dangers around them. These accidents can be prevented by installing steel bars on trucks, as recommended by the NHTSA.

Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents are not unique to trucks – they happen to cars too – but a truck rollover accident is far more dangerous. When a tractor trailer rolls over, not only is there now a large vehicle possibly blocking the road, but the contents of the truck often spill out too, increasing the hazards. Trucks can roll over if the driver took an exit ramp too fast, or even because the truck’s cargo weight was not properly distributed. When something outside of the truck causes the rollover it’s called tripped, and when the accident was caused by the truck itself it’s called untripped.

Wide Turn Accidents

Taking a right turn is tight, and can be very tough for a truck. Trucks will often turn to the left first and attempt to swing their trailer more wide to the left, in order to ensure they can squeeze through the right turn. Unfortunately, there are instances where the trailer swings too wide and hits other cars or even pedestrians. Additionally, sometimes other cars mistake the truck’s initial left turn to mean they are turning left, and they try to pass on the right. This results in the car being squeezed in between the front and back of the truck. If you see a truck making a wide turn, the best thing to do is keep your distance.

Tire Blowout Accidents

Most drivers have seen chunks of rubber and tire before while driving on a highway. While tires can blow out on a passenger vehicle, it most commonly happens to trucks. Trucks not only have more wheels than cars, but they are on the road for much longer periods of time, allowing more time for tires to become damaged. When a tire becomes punctured or damaged or is just worn out from excessive use, it can blowout. This can cause the truck to swerve, or worse, end up in one of the accidents above such as a rollover. Try not to drive next to trucks for any longer than you have to, in order to stay out of the danger zone.

Stay Safe

While there are plenty of other ways that trucks can crash, such as rear-end or t-bone accidents, those are not unique to trucks. The five types of accidents listed above are important to know because most passenger vehicle drivers are not aware of them. Trucks are much larger than cars and are structured differently, making them vulnerable to unique types of accidents. Next time you find yourself driving near a commercial truck, make sure to drive safely.

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