It’s often easy to imagine a commercial truck getting into an accident, particularly in the DC area. The streets are often clogged with motorists, and having to share the roads with large commercial trucks can be quite daunting. In fact, according to a recent report, thousands of people die each year when their vehicles collide with the massive trucks. In 2014, 3,660 people died because of truck accidents, and a majority died after being involved in common circumstances.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Colliding with a large commercial truck is dangerous at any time, but it is particularly so when the vehicles involved are in these type of common accidents:
- Rear-end accidents. Large trucks aren’t able to stop as quickly as smaller vehicles are. Because of the massive weight, trucks need more time to come to a complete stop. When smaller vehicles slam on their brakes, or the larger trucks don’t keep enough distance between them and the cars ahead, the risk of rear-end accidents increase. If possible, drivers should always keep in mind that the stopping distance for an 80,000-lb. truck driving at 60 mph is 426 feet.
- Underride accidents. One of the most dangerous and fatal type of accident, underride accidents are an extension of rear-end accidents. These frightening collisions occur when a smaller vehicle crashes into the back of a large truck and actually slides under the rear trailer. Pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans aren’t as prone to these types of accidents, as they typically only occur when the colliding vehicle is smaller than the back of the truck. Serious and catastrophic injuries can occur, but death is often a result.
- Jackknife accidents. These common types of accidents occur when axle brakes on tractor-trailers lock up. When this occurs, the trailer skids and only stops when it forms a 90-degree angle with the tractor. Unfortunately, the driver has no control over the trailer when this occurs, and a rollover accident is often the end result. The trailer can then land on another vehicle, or cause other drivers to collide with the trailer. Although these accidents can occur at any time, they are most prevalent during inclement weather conditions, such as when it is raining or snowing. Additionally, they are also often the result of poorly-attached trailers, truck drivers using the brakes at the last minute, and equipment failures.
- Runaway trailer accidents. Although this type of accident may sound like something that would only happen in a high-speed chase scene in a movie, runaway trailer accidents are common, and often fatal. This type of accident takes place when truck trailers travel faster than the truck cabins, often breaking free. These types of accidents usually occur as the result of faulty truck hitches, improperly-loaded trailers, truck driver error, or other motorists causing truck drivers to make sudden stops or turns.
- Rollover accidents. As you may imagine, rollover accidents are quite dangerous and often end in fatalities. These commonly tragic collisions are often the result of steep inclines or declines, fast speeds, hitting objects or curbs, trying to correct a trailer that has drifted off the road, and taking curves too fast.
Causes of Common Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can take place for many different reasons. However, crashes are often the result of truck driver negligence. For instance, falling asleep behind the wheel, drowsy and distracted driving, and driving while drunk or drugged are just a few of the factors that can come into play when determining fault in an accident.
If you were seriously hurt in a truck accident that was of no fault of your own, you could be entitled to receive compensation that can help pay for your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and time lost from work. The attorneys at Kennedy Hodges, LLP, may be able to help you with your situation. Contact us today by calling 855.947.0707 and find out what we may be able to do for you.