Drivers and their passengers are in danger of injury and death when sharing the road with a semi-truck driving erratically on the highway. Common causes of truck crashes include speeding, cargo shifting, brake problems, and driver error.
Knowing what to look for and how to drive near trucks can protect you from becoming a truck accident victim.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident, contact the truck accident attorneys at Fieger Law immediately. We understand what it takes to get the compensation you need after an unexpected truck accident.
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are often devastating of the considerable weight and size of trucks. The average length for a tractor-trailer is 48 feet, while the average length of a passenger car is only 14.7 feet. Passenger vehicles are also 20 to 30 times lighter than big rigs. Because of these differences, semi-trucks are more difficult for licensed truckers to operate safely.
Truck drivers working long hours and meeting tight delivery deadlines can lead to collisions. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study found that 13% of commercial truck drivers were tired and 10% were under work pressure when they crashed.
The following factors contribute to some of the most common types of truck accidents:
- Truck rollovers: The centrifugal force produced by a truck when driving through a curve can cause the truck to lean away from the curve’s direction. As a result, the vehicle can flip over and cause a rollover accident. In 2020, rollovers made up 4% of fatal crashes with large trucks and 2% of non-fatal accidents.
- Tire blowouts: Truck drivers often work 11-hour shifts, driving long distances between their destinations and wearing out their trucks’ tires in the process. If truck companies don’t regularly inspect and replace the tires on their vehicles, it can increase the chances of a blowout, causing a truck accident.
- Head-on collisions: A truck driver may lose control of the vehicle and swerve into the opposite lane, causing a head-on collision. These collisions typically happen due to a truck operator’s distracted driving, ranging from eating and drinking to adjusting the controls in their vehicle.
- Jackknife accidents: A fully loaded semi-truck takes two football field lengths to come to a complete stop after the driver begins breaking. A truck driver who is speeding and improperly braking on curved roads can cause the trailer attached to their truck to swing around its pivot points and jackknife into other vehicles.
If you suffer injuries in a big rig accident, the experienced semi-truck accident lawyers at Fieger Law can help you with your claim. We will investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine the cause of the collision and who you can hold liable for compensation.
Common Signs a Trucker Has Lost Control
Truck drivers may lose control of their vehicles at any time. Paying close attention to their movements can alert you that a crash is about to occur and help you navigate away safely.
Look for the following signs that a semi driver has lost control and stay as far away from the vehicle as possible:
- Abrupt braking: A truck suddenly braking may indicate a distracted or tired truck driver. It may also indicate a faulty brake system in the vehicle. Keep a safe distance and give a truck plenty of space when passing or merging in front of them. A good rule of thumb is to wait until the roof of the truck is visible in your rearview mirror before switching back to that lane.
- Weak or screeching braking performance: A poor connection between the brakes and the truck’s tires could lead to brake issues. You may hear loud noises coming from the friction in the tires. These noises indicate that you should slow down and give the trucker room to move.
- Sharp turns, fishtailing, or dithering: Truck drivers can make sudden sharp turns, fishtail, or dither between lanes when losing control of the rig. These movements indicate the need to slow down and give plenty of space until they can regain control of the vehicle.
- Unstable or shaky tires: If you notice a truck’s tires wobble or shake, it may be because of improper maintenance or excess wear and tear. Wobbly tires may come loose and hit nearby cars or blow out and cause the driver to lose control. Stay far behind a truck with loose or shaky tires to avoid a collision.
- Trailer is swaying or leaning: The truck’s trailer may appear unstable or be unevenly attached to the cab, indicating unbalanced cargo and additional weight on one side. A trailer imbalance may cause the truck driver to lose control of their vehicle and result in a rollover accident.
- Cargo exposed and trailer open: Unsecured cargo or an open trailer can result in debris falling on vehicles following the truck. The cargo can easily fly out from the trailer and hit your car.
Work with an experienced lawyer from Fieger Law to help you understand the scale of the damage incurred from a truck accident. We can examine all parties’ liability, including the truck driver, trucking company, or cargo loaders. We can also review accident photos and videos and interview witnesses to help you with a truck accident claim.
Work with the Semi-Truck Accident Lawyers at Fieger Law
Fieger Law works with clients throughout the country and can determine if negligence led to your truck accident. We will use our decades of experience in truck accidents to guide you through filing a truck accident claim and obtaining a fair settlement for your injuries.
Contact our legal team for a free consultation. We will be happy to discuss the details of your accident and talk about how our experience with these types of claims can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.