Were You Hurt in a Head-On Trucking Accident?
An 18 wheeler or other large truck and another vehicle moving toward each other in the same lane can cause a catastrophic truck crash known as a head on truck accident. This type of wreck typically occurs when one of the vehicles leaves its proper lane and moves toward oncoming traffic approaching in the opposite direction in the same lane.
Because the front ends of the vehicles receive the main impact of the collision, the drivers and front passengers in a head-on accident are often severely injured or killed. This is especially true for occupants of passenger cars that collide head-on with a semi or other big truck. The sheer size and weight of the truck – for example, a tractor-trailer or an 18-wheeler – could easily crush or throw aside a regular passenger vehicle with its occupants.
A front collision between a semi or other large truck and a passenger vehicle can also cause an override accident. This is when a massive truck ‘rides over’ the much-smaller car, crushing the car’s occupants. In this kind of wreck, permanent injuries and tragic fatalities are common.
Causes Of Truck Head-On Crashes
Why and how do trucks collide head-on with cars? Typically, this results when one of the vehicles inadvertently crosses into the opposite lane, and very often, it can be traced back to a certain party’s negligence. In more than 20 years as a truck accident lawyer at Flick Law Firm, we’ve shown the negligence of truck drivers and trucking companies in truck wreck cases. These are among the most common negligent actions of truckers that lead to head-on wrecks:
- Distracted driving. Truck drivers face many distractions while on the road, such as their cellphones, a GPS, device, and other vehicle equipment. A split-second of inattention could lead the massive vehicle to veer into the wrong lane.
- Driver fatigue. This is one of the top causes of truck accidents in general. With long hours on the road and a schedule to keep, many truck drivers end up tired or drowsy at the wheel, losing their ability to control their vehicle properly.
- Impaired driving. A truck driver who is intoxicated with alcohol or drugs is likely to have poor decision-making ability and reaction time, making them unfit to control a vehicle.
- Speeding. It is important for large vehicles to maintain their mandated speed, as their massive weight means they have more momentum and will take a longer time to stop. Drivers must also slow down when road conditions are less than ideal, such as during bad weather. Otherwise, a high speed could cause a large truck to drift outside its lane.
- Untrained driver. Operating a truck is much more complex than driving a car. For one, trucks are more difficult to maneuver, especially when navigating curves and corners. An insufficiently trained truck driver might fail this maneuver and cause a collision.
- Poor vehicle maintenance. It is an upsetting fact that some truck companies take shortcuts in ensuring the safety of their vehicles. Poorly maintained brakes, tires, and vehicle controls could malfunction on the road, resulting in truck crashes.
Injuries And Fatalities From Truck Front Crashes
Hundreds of thousands of truck accidents occur in the US every year and, in thousands of those crashes, people are killed. According to federal statistics, in 2017 more than four thousand people died in truck collisions, and most of them were occupants of passenger vehicles.
Survivors of these truck accidents are often left with serious, and sometimes permanent, injuries. These include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spine injuries, internal organ damage, fractures, paralysis, and amputation.
Just in the past few months, Kansas and Missouri have had their share of head-on truck accident fatalities and injuries. In December of 2018, a woman died after a truck drove through the median and onto her side of the road in Strafford, MO. The following March, a head-on collision between a utility truck and a car triggered a multi-vehicle wreck that killed a man in Hillsboro, MO. And just this April, a cattle truck and a car collided head-on in Potwin, KS, resulting in the death of the car driver.
Call Flick Law Firm For Your Truck Accident Case
A traffic collision involving a large truck is often complicated and distressing. But if you or someone in your family has been seriously hurt in such an accident, you may have every right to pursue the compensation you deserve. In Missouri or Kansas, call the Flick Law Firm. The Flick Law Firm is a trusted and experienced law firm based in the Kansas City area focused on handling truck accident injury cases throughout Kansas and Missouri. Talk to us today about your accident.
Lawrence Flick is the editorial supervisor of this page and last edited this page on February 28, 2020.