Let's talk about these giants we see on the roads daily. Aren't they just huge? It's bad enough that there are so many car accidents, but nowadays, these trucks are causing more mishaps than we could think of.
Sometimes they can be as heavy as 80,000 pounds and 65 feet long, and then imagine how much pain a single truck accident can cause, especially on a heavy traffic day. You can come across many types of truck accidents, which are discussed in detail in this article. So keep on reading!
What Is Causing These Accidents?
Big rig truck accidents are common now; this is because there are many rules and regulations that the truck drivers neglect and ignore the common practices that a responsible and sensible truck driver should follow. Following are stated some of the rules they neglect which cause these devastating accidents:
Trucks need to maintain a large gap between them and the other vehicle. When a truck needs to slow down or stop, they need sufficient distance and period because the inertial forces, in this case, are quite powerful, and the truck can collide with another vehicle easily.
Distracted Big Rig Driver
It's already a risk for a car driver to text or talk on the phone while driving, but this is a big NO-NO! Operating such a big vehicle is already a hard enough job; why make it even harder with your phone usage?
No explanation is required for this. Not only a truck but don't drive anything if you're drunk because you are compromising everyone's safety around you.
Driving With Aggression
Some drivers are too emotional and hot-headed to handle a big rig truck. If some other driver overtakes them, they become aggressive and try to do the same; this ends most of the time badly and is never a rational choice.
Too Much Cargo
According to the law, there is a certain amount of cargo that you can load in a truck because the heavier the truck is, the more difficult it becomes to control the vehicle and big rig truck accidents. Even an extra pound more is a violation of the law.
Ensure all the brakes, tires, and systems are properly functioning before starting your journey because even a small defect can cause many people to lose their lives.
Types of Truck Accidents
As a daily driver or traveler, you will tend to see big rig trucks on the roads and the highways daily. These trucks may just be another big-sized vehicle for you, but they play an important role in boosting the country's economy.
The cargo that it carries has so many goods required to fulfill the growing population's needs and essentials for human survival. Trucks are a big part of our daily lives, but they still pose a threat on the roads because truck drivers neglect many rules and ignore the safety regulations that have caused many big truck accidents in the past 3-4 decades.
Below are mentioned the most common big rig truck accidents that occur:
A jackknife accident happens when a truck travels at high speed and hits the brakes suddenly without slowing down first, causing the truck to fold at a 90-degree angle and sweep away all the things that come in its way. The trailer's weight is so much that it moves forward and may even break away from the cab.
2. Wide Turn
A wide turn is when a driver steers and makes a right turn. This can sometimes become problematic because steering a truck is No Joke! It's a complicated technique that becomes even more hectic with heavy traffic at the rear end because the passengers can easily get trapped, disturbing the pedestrians.
3. Tire Blowout
This can happen to any vehicle at any time and can cause a lot of danger to the passenger's life. If you're an inexperienced driver, it's easy to panic and become nervous when the tire blows out; you can lose control over the vehicle, making you crash into other vehicles.
4. Rolling Over of the Truck
Another cause of big rig truck accidents is truck rollovers. This usually happens on a curved path while the truck is traveling with heavy cargo. Reckless driving and speeding can cause the truck to roll, overtaking the lives of many pedestrians and motorists.
5. Blind Spots
This is such a big issue for big rick trucks because they cannot notice other vehicles at the rear end like most of the regular small vehicles can easily do. This is why people tend to call it a "No Man's Land" since no man can notice what's going on there. When a truck driver cannot see the cars and bikes switching lanes or making a turn, this puts the vehicle adjacent to the truck in grave danger; they can get hit, toppled off, crushed in a matter of seconds.
Not slowing down while another vehicle, especially when tractor-trailers are speeding right at you, is most probably going to cause a devastating collision. Drivers experience such powerful inertial forces that they fly from the windshield and experience serious injuries causing death in most cases.
T-bone is also one of the easiest truck accidents to occur. It's caused when a vehicle runs a red light and collides with other vehicles or even pedestrians. T-bone accidents are a perpendicular collision process caused by a hasty driver, risking innocent people's lives along with himself.
8. Runaway Trailer Crashes
In these types of big rig truck accidents, the trailer's speed increases and becomes more than that of the truck causing the truck driver to lose his control of the vehicle, and the 18- wheeler goes out of his hands. The truck's brakes might fail, causing the driver to panic and collide at high speed with another vehicle. In other cases, you can expect the trailer to completely detach from the cab, and this whole event results in a disastrous impact on other vehicles and pedestrians nearby.
9. Lost Load
Trucks are developed in such a way that they are more heightened than other vehicles. If a truck travels at great speed and stops quickly, you notice jackknifing, in which the truck folds to a 90 angle, which causes the other vehicles to pass under the truck trailer. As a result, the deadliest big rig truck accidents happen in the form of under-ride accidents.
10. Underride Collisions
These are the deadliest accidents one can think of. When a vehicle passes under a truck, there are so many mishaps that can occur in the blink of an eye. The truck's tires might burst, causing the trailer to crush the vehicles beneath it, or a jeep that is quite heightened compared to other cars may lose its rooftop and injure passengers when it passes below the trailer. In each case, the chances of being alive are very low.
Statistics of Big Rig Truck Accidents
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have deeply analyzed how many big rig truck accidents occurred only in 2018.
- Almost 500,000 truck accidents occurred in the U.S.
- These crashes caused 21% of passengers to experience injuries, while 1% of the injuries were fatal.
- In 67% of the accidents, the passengers from the other vehicle who got hit were the ones that were killed or injured the most.
- There was a 13.5% risk of being involved in big rig truck accidents for every one million U.S citizens.
- From 2009 to 2018, the risks of big rig accidents increased up to 31% in America.
What to Know After a Big Rig Truck Accident?
After getting involved in a car accident, the affected passengers tend to sue or claim compensation for it. But it's a whole different story in a truck accident; the claims and the policy for it do not resemble the car crash claim. Below are mentioned important things you must keep in mind if you ever get into a truck accident.
Rules and Regulations Are Different For the Truck Driver
Keep in mind that there are many things and requirements which apply only to these big rig trucks. One of the rules includes that a truck driver has a limited number of hours in which he can drive; if he was driving more than the limit while he hit your vehicle, consider the odds to be in your favor because this is a serious violation of the rules. Also, check if the truck got its regular maintenance and inspection because it should be in proper condition while traveling on the road.
Check for Evidence in the Big Rig Trucks
These modern trucks are now equipped with digital tracking systems that give information about the truck's speed, location, steering input, velocity, and acceleration. In other words, they monitor and look out for every truck component there is. If you can get your hands on the information while the truck was driving at the time of the accident, then consider the ball to be in your court now.
Mostly it's the Aggressive lawyers and Insurers who are representing the case of the truck drivers.
The majority of the time, big rig trucks are never the driver's personal property. They are the property of big industries and commercial entities represented by corporate lawyers and powerful insurance companies. These lawyers are well aware that truck accidents are very different from car accidents as they are more dangerous and can cause many people to lose their lives. A claim to these accidents can cost them tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it's never a piece of cake job to minimize the compensation.
What Causes These Big Rig Truck Accidents?
Apart from the truck drivers' stupidity and lack of responsibility, many natural factors play a significant role in these accidents. Some of those factors are mentioned below:
Even handling a car on a snowy or rainy day becomes a difficult job for a truck; it's a milestone to achieve if the driver manages to safely travel through severe weather conditions without any accidents. Ice, rain, snow, fog, and heavy winds make the journey difficult and a risk.
Poorly Constructed Roads
Many types of distresses can occur on rigid and flexible pavements like potholes, patches, alligator cracking, longitudinal cracking, and so on. The truck's tires are badly affected when used in these poor road conditions.
Heavy winds are dangerous for trucks because the trailer attached to the cab can easily drift away from its lane, and it becomes impossible for the driver to control the truck and not collide with anyone in front of him.
Unfamiliar With the Roads
First and foremost, a truck driver should never be excused in this case because it's his job to be sure about where he is going and what routes he is opting to travel on. Sometimes, the driver is unaware that the location moves into a too narrow, curved, or rough road, increasing the chances of an accident.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
If you are a victim of a truck accident that injured you and affected your daily life in many ways, then contact the truck accident attorneys. They have high knowledge and experience regarding truck accidents. These truck accident attorneys are well aware of every truck driving law that will help you win the case along with sufficient compensation for your losses.
Big rig truck accidents are now a reality, and preventing them is not an easy job. The least we could do is take proper safety measures and become aware of the risk of traveling alongside a big rig. If you get involved in a truck accident, you should have enough knowledge to fight for your claims and compensation. Or you can try to contact the right lawyer to help you out with your case.