Large truck accidents tend to have devastating consequences. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a majority of deaths in large truck and vehicle accidents are the occupants of the smaller passenger vehicles involved in collisions with the trucks. Commercial trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger cars and are taller with greater ground clearance. This may cause smaller vehicles to get crushed under trucks or their trailers.
The braking capability of big rigs may also be a factor in truck accidents. Loaded tractor-trailers take between 20 to 40 percent farther than cars to stop completely. The discrepancy may be even greater on wet and slippery roadways or in cases where trucks’ brakes are not properly maintained. In addition, truck driver fatigue adds to crash risks.
Drivers of large trucks are allowed under federal hours-of-service (HOS) rules, to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch. Surveys indicate that many truck drivers violate these regulations and work longer than permitted, and trucking companies turn a blind eye to these violations because they are scrambling to meet deadlines and enhance their profit margins.
Here are the four most common types of truck accidents that may result in significant injuries, damages and losses:
1. Jackknife Accidents
This type of truck accident occurs when a tractor trailers’ drive axle brakes lock up and causes the trailer to skid. The trailer typically comes to a stop while forming a 90-degree angle with the tractor creating the appearance of a folded pocketknife. In jackknife accidents, the truck driver completely loses control of the big rig. Jackknife accidents may also result in rollovers.
There are a number of reasons why these types of accidents occur. First, if the truck’s brakes aren’t maintained properly, the trailer axles may lock up. Jackknife accidents may also occur when the truck is traveling at an excessive rate of speed and the driver suddenly slams on the brakes. Another significant and preventable cause is truck driver fatigue. A tired or sleepy driver will not be in a position to take evasive action and prevent a tragic collision.
2. Underride Accidents
Truck underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicles becomes stuck under a commercial truck’s trailer, whether it’s from the rear or the side. A majority of underride accidents take place on the highway and often result in major injuries and fatalities. There are a number of scenarios that may potentially lead to an underride crash.
For example, when a truck driver slams on the brakes or comes to a sudden stop, the vehicle behind the truck may be unable to stop in time and become wedged under the trailer. This may also happen in cases where a truck driver fails to check blind spots before making a lane change. Finally, when a truck does not have strong enough underride guards (barriers), a tragic underride accident may occur.
3. Rollover Accidents
Large truck rollover accidents can result in devastating highway pileups that involve multiple vehicles and result in a number of injuries, and possibly, fatalities. A rollover accident may be caused by a fatigued or impaired truck driver who is not paying attention to the road. Sometimes, lack of proper vehicle maintenance may lead to failing brakes or tires that may cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle and then lead to a truck rollover.
4. Accidents While Making Turns
These are the most common types of truck accidents we witness on city streets. Whether it’s dump trucks or tractor-trailers, making turns can be a tricky affair. It requires the driver’s complete attention and focus. A driver who is negligent (careless), inattentive or inexperienced may make a mistake while making a left, right or U-turn, causing significant injuries and damages.
How an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 47 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
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