Common Types of Semi-Truck Accidents
Like many drivers, you may be nervous when you have to drive near big trucks. Sharing the road with these giant vehicles is necessary, however. The trucking industry is essential to commerce in the United States. In fact, trucks move approximately 71.5% of the nation’s freight by weight. By necessity, these vehicles are often huge, hitting a maximum weight of 80,000 lbs. And although truck drivers are generally quite safe drivers, the size of their trucks and trailers often makes them deadly in collisions. When you share the road with big trucks, you have to drive defensively and be aware of the common types of semi-truck accidents.
Big trucks present a number of driving challenges, and they are frequently involved in the following types of accidents:
When a big rig jackknifes, the trailer ends up in a 90-degree position to the cab, which blocks several lanes of traffic. When a big truck is in this position, it can cause a number of serious or even fatal accidents. In many cases, a multi-car pileup results.
A jackknife often occurs due to slick roadway conditions or incorrect braking, causing the trailer wheels to slide or lock and forcing it to swing away from the cab. Jackknifing is more likely to happen when a truck is carrying a light load because it will have less traction. Also, improperly maintained equipment, driving too fast for conditions or following another vehicle too closely may contribute to these accidents.
Rollovers are another common and deadly big truck accident. You may believe that these accidents are usually caused by weather conditions or speeding, but most of them, approximately 75%, are the result of driver error. Some other triggering event usually precedes the rollover, such as drowsiness or drifting into another lane. The driver may overcorrect or suddenly brake, causing the truck to tip and roll over.
Tanker drivers are vulnerable to rollovers, particularly if they are carrying a partial load. The liquid sloshes up the sides of the tank, causing the truck to tilt to one side or the other. Driver attention, speed management and brake maintenance greatly reduce the chances of a rig rollover.
Right Turn Accidents
When a big rig is turning right, it usually takes up two lanes. Accidents often happen when the truck driver turns right while in the outside turning lane and a car is in the inside lane. In that instance, the trailer can easily hit the car, or the car can become trapped between the drive tires and the trailer tires.
Drivers making that maneuver usually block both lanes with the end of the trailer so that other vehicles won’t be placed in a dangerous position. However, sometimes cars get by and collisions occur. In most instances, the truck driver will be held responsible.
Blind Spot Accidents
Although truck drivers sit up high, there are limits to what they can see. Their vision usually extends to around 20 feet forward and 20 feet on both sides of the rig. They may be able to see as far as 200 feet behind the trailer. Unfortunately, all trucks have blind spots. A truck driver may be totally unaware that you are close behind them. Remember, if you cannot see the truck driver in their side mirror, they probably cannot see you. As a result, they may hit you when they switch lanes or make a turn.
Eighteen wheelers are naturally prone to tire blowouts. Bad road conditions or poor tire maintenance can cause a tire to blow while the truck is rolling down the road at 70 miles an hour. In fact, 80% of blowouts are caused by tread or casing deterioration. When the problem is with a steer tire, a devasting accident can easily occur, especially if the driver does not react correctly. To maintain control of the vehicle, the driver actually needs to accelerate, which seems to defy logic. In fact, speeding up keeps the truck moving straight in its lane. After the truck is under control, the driver needs to carefully slow down and pull the truck over in a safe spot. If the driver loses control, they can easily strike another vehicle and/or rollover. A number of tragic incidents have happened as a result of semi-truck tire blowouts.
Truck Accident Victims
If you are the victim of a trucking accident, you will need help from an expert personal injury lawyer. Too often, people are killed or seriously injured in these accidents. The fallout is tragic and expensive. You will need someone to represent your interests with the insurance and trucking company. In some cases, legal action will be necessary. In Illinois, you can get that help from WG Law Group.
WG Law Group
Illinois roadways are full of large trucks, and Chicago is one of the biggest centers for truck traffic in the nation. If you drive in Illinois, you need to understand trucking dangers in order to stay safe on the roads particularly those in and around the city. You can easily become the victim of a trucking accident. Whiteside & Goldberg understands these traffic challenges and how Illinois law applies to your situation.
Whiteside & Goldberg has successfully represented many truck accident victims, getting them the settlements they need. Their experienced attorneys will negotiate for you with insurance and trucking companies, filing a lawsuit when necessary to get just compensation for your injuries and property damage. If you’ve been the victim of a trucking accident, take advantage of the firm’s free consultation. Remember, Whiteside & Goldberg never charges a fee until they win a settlement for you. Get help today by calling 312-334-6875 for the Whiteside & Goldberg Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.