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Types of Truck Accidents

October 21, 2022

Despite an overall decrease in car accidents on U.S. roadways, truck accidents are on the rise, including in Washington. With more online shopping and increased demand for shipped goods, more trucks are on the roads than ever before. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial trucks play a part in up to 13 percent of roadway accidents in the United States. Fatigue, impairment, and distraction all play a role in truck accidents. Sadly, 7 out of 10 fatalities from truck accidents happen to the occupants of the smaller vehicles, not the trucks.

The large size, heavy weight, and trailer design of trucks cause them to commonly crash in specific ways. For instance, they often rear-end other vehicles or obstructions because they can’t stop as quickly as smaller vehicles. Understanding the types of truck accidents that happen most often may help both truck drivers and those who share the road with large trucks to learn how to avoid accidents.

Types of Truck Accidents

Large Truck Jackknife Accidents

Large commercial trucks have joints connecting them to their trailers. When the force from a braking maneuver or sudden turn causes the trailer to skid forward and to the side into an L-shape it’s called a Jackknife accident. A large trailer skidding sideways has the potential to damage anything in its path and may cause oncoming traffic collisions. Sudden braking in bad weather conditions such as slick or icy roads may lead to this dangerous type of accident.

Sideswipe and Blindspot Accidents

The size and shape of trucks necessarily cause blindspots that lead to sideswipes and other types of truck accidents. When truck drivers can’t see a passing car to the left or right of them they may change lanes and cause sideswipe accidents that can be very damaging to the smaller vehicle. This sometimes forces the car into other lanes and causes devastating multi-vehicle pileups. Tired drivers, inclement weather, impairment, and distraction may also lead to truck sideswipe accidents.

T-Bone Truck Accidents

T-bone accidents with trucks commonly occur in intersections when a truck runs through a stop sign or red light and another vehicle hits it broadside in a T shape. The size and power of a large truck at full speed, make this a potentially catastrophic accident.

T-bone accidents also occur when a truck makes an improper turn across other traffic lanes, causing side-impact collisions.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions can occur when a tired or distracted truck driver drifts into the oncoming lane on a 2-lane highway or fails to yield to the right-of-way at an intersection. Tire blowouts may cause swerving and head-on collisions with other vehicles. A head-on collision with a large, heavy truck causes a very serious impact and deadly consequences.

Accidents Due to Wide Turns

Trucks pulling trailers need a larger space to make a right turn compared to a smaller vehicle. Sometimes truck drivers swing widely to the left before trying to make a tight turn. When a trucker nearly misses a turn or an exit and makes a last-moment decision to turn, errors in judging their clearance or timing result in this type of crash. Vehicles in other lanes may collide with the side of the truck or become trapped under the trailer as it swings too far to the left.

Large Truck Rollovers

Sudden swerves, turns, and even high winds may cause a large truck with a high center of gravity to roll over in what may be the most terrifying type of truck accident. A sudden shift caused by sharp turns can flip the trailer, taking the truck cab with it into a rollover. This poses an incredible danger to the truck driver and any nearby vehicles.

Damage Compensation After Truck Accidents

If a truck driver’s mistake or the sheer size and weight of a truck in an impact causes an accident with damage, personal injury, or even wrongful death, victims have the right to seek the financial compensation they need in order to focus on recovery. Schedule a free consultation with a Seattle truck accident lawyer to explore your legal options.

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