Truck accidents cause significant property damage, severe injuries, and often death. There are a number of reasons truck accidents are more dangerous than car crashes. First, because of their size and weight, trucks require more stopping time than cars. While the average passenger car requires 316 feet to come to a complete stop from a speed of 65 miles per hour, a semi-truck traveling the same speed requires 525 feet. Other factors impacting a truck’s ability to stop include weather conditions, the tire treads, and the method in which the brakes are applied. Additionally, the average car weighs around 5,000 pounds. Semi-trucks, when fully loaded, can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This, of course, can also contribute to the extent of the damage sustained by persons and property.
There are several different types of truck accidents, as well as situations that contribute to truck accidents. Many of these are addressed and discussed below.
As the name suggests, in a jackknife truck accident, the truck and trailer “jackknife” or form a “V” shape or 90-degree angle. This happens when a truck driver brakes hard and fast. The trailer skids out from behind the cab, creating a sharp angle to the cab, rather than staying in a linear formation.
Where a truck is following too close, if traffic ahead slows or comes to a stop, the truck may rear end the driver in front of them. Particularly when driven by newer truck drivers, unfamiliar with the need for additional space to stop the vehicle, the consequences of a truck / car rear end accident can be deadly.
Particularly where the trailer is fully loaded, rollovers can cause extreme property damage as well as personal injury. Rollovers occur when the driver loses control of the truck, typically on a curve or sharp angle. The truck slides across the pavement and rolls over. This can cause injury to pedestrians and motorists alike. When the contents of the trailer spill out onto the roadway, this, too, can lead to direct injury. Contents of the trailer can also result in subsequent accidents, as motorists come upon the scene discovering unexpected debris in the road.
Technically, a tire blowout, in and of itself, is not a type of truck accident. However, when a weakened tire is subjected to certain conditions, it can explode. Tire blowouts can happen to anyone on the road. However, when 18 wheelers sustain tire blowouts, this can have extensive negative consequences. These include flying debris from the shredded tire, loosened cargo from the loss of stability of the truck, loss of control of the truck, rollovers, and poor driving conduct of other drivers, reacting to the tire blowout.
Under Ride Accidents
Under ride accidents are often deadly, however, many people are unaware of this particular type of truck accident. This type of accident occurs when two factors are present: first, the trucker stops quickly and unexpectedly; second, the car driver behind the truck was following too close and cannot stop in time. Thus, the car “rear ends” the truck. However, given the height differential, the car can travel partially under the trailer of the semi-truck, and become lodged underneath. Given this occurs in a driver’s blind spot, the driver may remain unaware of the situation for miles, until another driver successfully signals them regarding the problem.
If You Have Been Injured in a Truck Accident
Truck accidents injure and kill people at a higher rate than car accidents. If you or your family has suffered a loss due to a truck accident, you may be entitled to recovery for funeral expenses, unpaid medical bills, lost wages, employment retraining, and pain and suffering. Contact the O’Brien Firm. We offer free consultations, meeting with you and your family to discuss the losses you have experienced. We are happy to meet you at the hospital or come to your home. There is no fee unless we win your case. Call us today to talk about your truck accident at (716) 907.7777.