Truck accidents in general are inherently dangerous. These four types of crashes can be especially dangerous, given the nature of the accident. Although motorists sometimes can be at fault, many times, it is truck driver error that causes them.
Jackknife Trucking Accidents
A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer attached to the cab of the truck swings outward, then folds in on the cab to form a “V.” As it swings outward, it can strike another vehicle. There is also the potential for a vehicle (such as a motorcycle) to be caught in between the truck’s trailer and cab.
A jackknife accident can happen when the truck travels at a high speed and has to brake suddenly. As the truck skids, there is no control over the trailer, causing it to fold.
It also can occur when the truck loses traction because of wet conditions or heavy winds. Again, speed can be a significant factor. If going too fast and unable to brake safely, the truck might jackknife.
Taking a sharp curve too fast is another cause. When attempting to apply the brakes, the momentum can push the trailer outward. In a lot of cases, speed is a major factor in jackknife accidents.
Underride Trucking Accidents
This happens when a passenger vehicle strikes the back of a truck and slides either partially or completely underneath it. Although trucks are supposed to have underride guards to prevent this, sometimes they fail or are missing.
Even a vehicle traveling at a relatively low speed could slam into the back of a big rig and end up underneath. The faster someone travels, the greater the risk may be of sliding underneath and suffering serious injuries.
Injuries tend to occur to the upper part of the body and may cause decapitation. Whether it’s the head, face, neck or chest, the damage can be significant.
Override Trucking Accidents
Instead of a vehicle sliding underneath a truck, the semi actually rides over it in an override accident. This can happen when the truck has been traveling at a high speed and/or is following another vehicle too closely. Victims of this kind of accident can sustain crush injuries. Fractures, head trauma and dismemberment are examples.
Rollover Trucking Accidents
Rollovers sometimes occur after a truck has jackknifed, but there can be other causes. For instance, an improperly balanced or overloaded semi may have a greater chance of rolling over, especially when making a sharp turn or sudden stop. Instead of skidding, the center of gravity in the trailer may cause it to roll.
As is the case with many other types of truck accidents, speed can be a contributing factor in a rollover. Traveling too fast when taking a ramp or curve increases the risk of a rollover. It’s also a risk when driving during windy conditions.
Certain driver errors also increase the chance of a rollover. Trying to counter-steer can cause the truck driver to lose control. This can be a result of drifting off the road or into another lane and trying to overcorrect it. Fatigue and not paying attention can cause this to happen.
Determining Liability in a Truck Accident
In many of these crashes, the truck driver is at fault. One of the main contributing factors in these types of common accidents is speed. But other truck driver errors could be a cause or contributing factor.
The best way to determine who is liable for a truck accident is to seek legal counsel. An attorney will investigate the crash to determine if the trucker was at fault. Due to the complex issues involved in this type of case, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Call Gacovino, Lake & Associates at (800) 246-4878.