Despite trucks accounting for less than 5% of all registered vehicles in the U.S, they are considered one of the leading causes of accidents on the roadways. According to FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), over 13% of all fatal accidents on American roads involve at least one large truck.
Many factors can contribute to truck accidents, including driver distraction, the weight of the truck, driver fatigue, poor vehicle maintenance, and the neglect of safety laws while driving. Because of their heavy weight, crashes involving large commercial trucks usually result in devastating injuries to passengers and drivers.
If you or someone you know was recently injured in a trucking accident, consult a truck accident attorney in Knoxville to learn about your legal options to receive compensation for your injuries. Not sure if you are entitled to compensation for your truck accident injuries? While every case is different, below are some of the most common truck accidents that result in personal injury claims.
1. Truck Rollover
Truck rollover is one of the most devastating types of large truck accidents. This accident occurs when a driver loses control, and the truck’s wheels lose contact with the road, causing the vehicle to tip over onto its side. There are various causes of rollover accidents. One of the most notorious contributors to rollover accidents is excessive speed on curved roads. This often happens when a driver takes turns too fast to safely negotiate a curve without considering the road conditions and the height and load of their truck.
In some cases, this type of accident can occur due to sudden changes of steering to avoid an obstacle or an incoming vehicle. The truck’s high center of gravity may cause the vehicle to overturn. This is especially true if the truck is improperly loaded or has poorly secured cargo which shifts when the vehicle is rounding a corner.
2. Jackknife Accidents
Jackknife describes an incident whereby the front of the truck and the trailer abruptly stops moving in harmony. Instead, the trailer begins to move behind the truck and eventually starts going in different directions. Some of the common causes of a Jackknife accident include slippery roads, empty trailers, or sharp turns.
Another potential cause of jackknife accidents is improperly applied brakes. If a driver suddenly slams on the brakes, the vehicle may not halt and instead keep moving forward. In worst cases, the front wheels may lock up while the back tires may still be moving even after applying the brakes, propelling the truck trailer forward.
3. Head-On Collisions
A head-on collision is an accident where the front end of vehicles hit each other when moving in the opposite direction. This often occurs when drivers lose control of their cars and move out of their lane, drifting into the oncoming traffic. These accidents are also common at stop signs, red lights, and intersections when drivers ignore traffic rules. Truck head-on collisions may occur due to different reasons, including overspeeding, fatigue, or driving under the influence of substances or alcohol.
4. Lost or Loose Truck Loads
Large commercial trucks are the backbone of our economy because they transport the most consumable goods throughout the nation. But if these loads have not been properly secured, they can cause many problems to other drivers on the road. When the cargo shifts, especially during a turn or curve, it impacts the rig’s balance, making it difficult for the driver to maintain control. This may lead to a rollover accident, jackknifing, sideswiping and head on collisions.
5. Sideswipe Truck Accidents
Sideswipe accidents occur when the side of a vehicle crashes with the side of a truck. This happens when vehicles traveling in the same direction collide side by side. In most cases, a sideswipe accident between passenger vehicles and trucks happens when truck drivers fail to check their blind spots before joining traffic or changing lanes.
Sideswipe truck accidents can also occur due to poor road conditions, weather issues, tire blowouts, or the presence of road obstacles. Over speeding, driver fatigue, distraction, and drunk driving can also make drivers lose control and slam vehicles in adjacent lanes.
6. Under Ride Accidents
Under-ride accidents often occur when a truck trailer stops quickly without warning. A smaller vehicle approaching the truck can crash into the side of a trailer or slide underneath. Under-ride crashes are some of the deadliest accidents on U.S. roads that claim more than 200 lives every year.
Other common causes of underride accidents are decreased visibility during the night, recklessness, trucks with poor markings, and moving slowly on a highway. Weather conditions such as snowy or slippery roads can also make a smaller car slide right under a truck.
7. Wide Turn Accidents
Wide turns often require special caution to navigate. As a rule of thumb in trucking, the right-hand turn is more intense than the left-hand turn, requiring drivers to be extra cautious. On many occasions, truck drivers seek to make right-hand turns by steering their trailers wide to the left before circling in a right turn.
While this can result in a successful right-hand turn, sometimes it can create a hazardous situation for cars in the nearby lanes. When the truck operator is unaware of the back and right surroundings, it can trap nearby vehicles as it swings left.
Contact a Knoxville Truck Accident Attorney
There are many types of truck accidents that can result in serious injury and damages. If you have been injured in a Knoxville truck accident, our truck accident attorneys at G3 can help. Call us at 865-658-4012 to speak to our team today.