Types of Truck Accidents
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), thousands of Americans are killed in accidents involving large commercial trucks every year. Many of these accidents are preventable tragedies caused by the negligence of truck drivers, trucking companies, and others in the commercial trucking industry.
If you or someone you love sustained serious injuries in a truck accident caused by another party’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. The dedicated truck accident lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, including $9 million for a client who was struck in a head-on collision when a tractor trailer crossed the center line and $3.8 million for a client who suffered facial fractures and psychological problems after a nighttime collision with a tractor trailer. We are here to help you with all aspects of your truck accident claim. Contact our experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey truck accident attorneys today online or give us a call for your free initial consultation.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. have experience handling a wide variety of truck accident claims for those who’ve been hurt due to the negligence of others. Some of the most common types of truck accidents we have seen include:
Rear-end collisions often occur when other drivers are following too closely or not paying attention. Truckers who are tailgating, distracted, or impaired are especially likely to cause rear-end collisions. Large commercial trucks take so much longer to slow or stop than an average passenger car. When negligent truck drivers are inattentive or following too closely, they are more likely to cause serious or fatal accidents. Even at low speeds, accidents involving large trucks can be catastrophic.
Jackknife accidents occur when the attached trailer of a segmented tractor-trailer swings out too wide and faces in the opposite direction of the tractor towing it, making the shape of a closing jackknife. Some of the common reasons for jackknife accidents include:
- Improperly-secured or overloaded cargo
- Improper braking or turning procedures
- Driving at high speeds
- Tire blowouts
- Brake failures
Right turn accidents
Large trucks typically need to swing wide before they turn to the right, increasing the likelihood of right-turn accidents with vehicles in neighboring lanes that may be crushed or caught in underride crashes.
Although all vehicles in the U.S. make wide left-hand turns as they navigate from the far side of one adjacent road to another, trucks must make wide turns no matter which direction they are turning. When truck drivers do not navigate right- or left-hand turns safely, they might roll over, jackknife, or sideswipe cars in other lanes.
All tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers have large blind spots located behind their trailers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration warns motorists of the following blind spots on large trucks:
- Behind the left- and right-hand sides of their cabs
- 20 feet in front of the hood of their cabs
- 30 feet behind their trailers
This means that whether nearby vehicles are in front, behind, or to either side of a large truck, they may be at risk of blind spot accidents.
Semi-trucks that collide head-first with other vehicles cause catastrophic accidents that frequently result in fatal injuries. While these accidents are relatively rare, they are most often caused by negligent drivers who drift into oncoming traffic because they are distracted, fatigued, or intoxicated behind the wheel. These accidents can also occur when truck drivers speed or lose control of their vehicle.
When the side of a large commercial truck collides with the side of another vehicle in a sideswipe accident, the smaller car is at serious risk of being damaged, run over, crushed, or run off the road. Sideswipe accidents often occur because of blind spot negligence, driver lane weaving, distracted or drowsy driving, or driving under the influence.
If truck drivers make improper turning maneuvers, ignore the right-of-way, or run red lights or stop signs, they may be responsible for devastating T-bone accidents. Big rigs involved in perpendicular collisions sometimes completely crush smaller vehicles and may leave occupants with severe or fatal injuries. The resulting property damage and accompanying expenses are also commonly severe, often financially devastating families.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are often caused by negligent parties in the commercial transportation industry, including truck drivers, trucking companies, cargo loading teams, or vehicle repair shops. The most common causes of truck accidents in the U.S. are:
- Speeding – Truck drivers are often under tremendous pressure to make on-time deliveries. This can cause them to speed. However, driving at high speeds makes it more difficult to maintain control over a vehicle. Aggressive speeding by truck drivers often results in serious injuries and fatal crashes.
- Distracted driving – Truckers who are distracted by texting, phone apps, or even job-related technologies such as electronic logging devices or GPS present a serious hazard to themselves and others on the road.
- Fatigued driving – Commercial trucking companies often impose demanding schedules on their drivers, who may become dangerously overworked and fatigued as a result. This puts everyone’s safety at risk.
- Driving under the influence – Truck drivers who are operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be unable to drive safely because they are irritable, aggressive, drowsy, or disoriented behind the wheel.
- Faulty truck parts – Semi-trucks manufactured with defective components such as faulty brake systems, tires, or steering mechanisms are especially likely to cause catastrophic collisions when operated on the road.
- Poorly-maintained trucks – In some cases, commercial truck inspection or maintenance shops may be responsible for truck accidents when they neglect to identify or properly address trucks in need of repair.
- Improperly-loaded cargo – If the cargo inside a commercial truck’s trailer is overloaded or loaded insecurely, the truck may be at increased risk of tire blowouts, dangerous swaying, jackknifing, or rollover accidents.
- Trucking company negligence – Trucking companies may act negligently by hiring drivers who cause accidents because they are inexperienced or improperly trained.
- Hazardous road conditions – Hazardous road conditions such as potholes and inclement weather sometimes cause large truck accidents.
Talk to a Truck Accident Lawyer Today
If you were hurt in a truck accident caused by a negligent truck driver, trucking company, or another entity, you deserve justice. You could be owed significant compensation for the injuries and other damage you incurred. The experienced Pennsylvania and New Jersey truck accident lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. can help.
Our skilled lawyers are ready to take swift action in your case now. Call us or fill out our online contact form for your free consultation with our compassionate team.