Big trucks are extremely large and unwieldy, which makes them difficult to maneuver even under the best conditions. When the conditions are not favorable, they become even more dangerous. Drivers of big trucks and commercial vehicles receive extensive training to learn how to handle the vehicles correctly. Nevertheless, accidents can and do occur with alarming frequency. Six years ago, there were 88,000 trucks involved in accidents nationwide causing injury and 3,744 accidents that proved fatal.
Some types of accidents are unique to big trucks. Others are similar to accidents that can occur with smaller vehicles as well. However, because of the size and poor maneuverability of the truck, they can be much more serious.
Accidents That Are Unique to Trucks
Jackknifing is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. It can occur when road conditions are bad, equipment on the truck is faulty, or the driver brakes improperly. When the trailer that the truck is pulling goes one way and the tractor (i.e., the part that drives) goes another way, each can wind up facing another direction. This is called a jackknife because it resembles an implement in which the blade can fold into the handle.
Another type of accident that only happens when a large truck is involved is called an underside accident. It involves a smaller vehicle driving under the truck when the latter makes a sudden stop. It can cause extensive damage to the vehicle itself, and most often, the driver of the smaller vehicle does not survive.
Accidents That Are More Serious With Trucks
Sometimes when a driver loses control, a vehicle can roll over. Its tires leave the road and it crashes over onto its side, or sometimes onto the roof if the momentum is great enough. Both small vehicles and large trucks can experience rollovers, but the cause is often different. Truck rollovers typically occur when the driver is on a steep incline or going around a sharp curve. Not only are they dangerous for the driver, but anyone whom the truck lands on when it rolls over can be seriously injured.
Any type of vehicle that uses pneumatic tires can experience a blowout. This can be severe in any situation, but it is especially dangerous for a truck driver because the weight of the truck almost always causes him or her to lose control. This can result in a rollover and/or collisions with other vehicles.
If you are fortunate enough to survive a collision with a truck, you likely want to seek compensation for the damages you have sustained, both to your property and your person. A Woodland Hills trucking accident lawyer may be able to assist you. Contact a law office for more information.
Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into personal injury claims and common types of truck accidents.