According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 5000 people die because of large truck collisions each year. These types of large truck accidents occur about half a million times each year on our roads and in addition to the lives they claim, they also cause a slew of personal injuries. Large truck accidents tend to make the news because of the amount of devastation they cause, but not all large truck accidents are the same. In fact, there are many types of large truck accidents, each causing their own problems and damage:
1) Rollovers. Trucks tend to be tall and this creates a high center of gravity. When a truck loses control, rollovers are very common. Rollovers most often occur on a turn or when a driver drives over an object. Rollovers cause fatalities and many types of injuries. A truck can fall onto a passenger vehicle and kill everyone inside. A truck driver in a rollover accident can sustain serious brain injuries and spinal cord injuries from being tossed about in the cab.
2) Brake failure. Brake failure is a common cause of truck accidents, since truck brakes require good training to use. Many things can make a truck’s brakes fail: mechanical problems, poor weather conditions, and a properly balanced and secured load. Even overheated brakes that have not had time to cool completely can fail.
3) Blind spot problems. Large trucks have large blind spots behind them and to either side of them. If another vehicle is in these spots when a truck changes lanes or turns, an accident can easily occur. These accidents also have a high risk of fatalities, simply due to the size and weight of the truck.
4) Underride Accidents. These types of accidents occur when a passenger car collides with a truck and slides underneath the truck. The truck often drags the car along before the driver can come to a complete stop. The front and top of the passenger vehicle is usually crushed in this type of accident and the front passengers in the passenger car are at high risk of brain injury, amputation injuries, and other serious injuries.
5) Wide turns. When a truck makes a turn, the driver will sometimes swing to the opposite direction first. This can cause the truck to collide with any vehicle that happens to be in the way. This vehicle may be crushed or pushed off the road. Such accidents can cause chain reactions of accidents – especially if a car is pushed by the truck into oncoming traffic – and multiple personal injuries.
6) Head-on collisions. These accidents occur when a truck strikes another oncoming vehicle. These collisions almost always result in fatalities if the other vehicle is a smaller passenger car. Often, these accidents take place when either the truck or vehicle drifts into an oncoming lane.