The trucking industry is a very large part of our economy. They deliver goods across the country and are a necessary part of our lives. If you’ve driven for any length of time, you have probably seen a semi truck accident. These are almost always tragic, and the damage to the vehicles involved is devastating. Since semis weigh quite a bit more than your average car, the semi usually winds up with less damage than the car it comes into contact with. When dealing with the trucking industry, it is important to understand the common types of accidents that these large vehicles can get into so you can avoid them.
A jackknife accident happens when a truck has to brake fast or if the brakes lock up while stopping. In this accident scenario, they are usually braking hard and fast to avoid someone who has cut in front of them or when traffic rapidly halts. Most of the time, you see jackknifed trucks on interstates or other roads with high-speed limits and cars entering or exiting the road. A truck driver tries to avoid the collision by braking too fast. The trailer’s weight exceeds the braking ability of the truck and slides sideways towards the cab ending up at a 90-degree angle.
Wide Turn Collisions
It is no secret that trucks have to take wide turns due to their size. If you did not know this, it is helpfully printed on the back and sometimes the sides of most semi trailers. Yet there are a large number of accidents that are a result of these wide turns every year. A trucker will turn left slightly to complete a right-hand turn. This causes other motorists to think they are turning left and pull into the right lane. When the truck makes the opposite turn, the motorist is in the way. It isn’t easy to see a car right beside a semi, and truckers often don’t realize there is a car beside them. Unfortunately, it results in the front or side of the truck coming into contact with a car.
Rear-end collisions are one of the more frequent accidents. A truck has a difficult time stopping fast. When they are cut off, or the traffic stops suddenly, the truck rear-ends the driver in front of them. Another type of rear-end collision is when someone does not realize that the truck is stopping and that the truck driver cannot see you behind them. This is also the cause of a lot of the side collisions that involve trucks. It is important to remember that a truck does not have much of a view of what is directly behind or directly beside their trailer.
A t-bone collision happens when a car pulls across one or more lanes in traffic and the semi hits in on the side in the middle. These accidents are almost always fatal to the people in the car that is hit.
It is important to remember that many of these accidents are not the truck driver’s fault. Far too many people follow too close, don’t pay attention to blind spots or stop in front of a semi. In these cases, the truck driver can’t do anything to avoid the collision.