These are some of the common (and less common) types of truck accidents. To learn more about a specific truck accident type, click on its heading to see more information.
A truck hitting the rear end of another vehicle is among the most common kinds of truck accidents. It often happens when the other vehicle is stopped at a red light or stop sign, or is slowing down. This is why it’s crucial for 18-wheelers, dump trucks, or other large trucks to avoid following too closely or driving too fast. Other factors that lead to rear-ending wrecks are driver inattention and driver fatigue.
When a truck and another vehicle move from opposite directions toward each other, their front ends or parts could collide in a head-on accident. Most often, this happens on straight roads, when one of these vehicles unintentionally crosses into oncoming traffic. Other typical factors that contribute to head-on collisions are speeding and distracted driving. When large trucks are involved – given their size and weight – the results are commonly dire, including severe injuries or death, especially among occupants of smaller vehicles.
A truck crash at an intersection has a greater serious injury potential than other truck accident types. Intersection crashes are typically caused by right-of-way violations such as running a red light or stop sign, or not yielding during a left turn. Additionally, big trucks such as semis or tractor-trailers can also invite an intersection accident when they obstruct the path of other vehicles at certain turns.
A jackknife accident occurs when a tractor and its trailer fold toward each other while traveling, comparable to how a jackknife or pocketknife folds. The tractor and the trailer could possibly crash together. Furthermore, a truck that is jackknifing can crash with other vehicles, or obstruct the road and lead to multi-vehicle pileups. Such a catastrophic accident is often the result of overly hard braking by 18-wheelers, especially in bad weather conditions when the roads are slippery.
Huge vehicles, particularly tankers, have a high center of gravity that makes them more prone to roll over. Some common factors that add to this risk are speeding, driving too fast at a curve, and inattentive driving. Other factors are cargo shifting, bad weather conditions like crosswinds, and truck design, such as with shorter trucks.
Sideswiping/Lane Change Accident
Truck drivers need strategically placed mirrors to see what’s beside and behind their large trucks. But because of the sheer size of tractor-trailers and similar trucks, they still have large blind spots that are not included in the driver’s vision. So during a lane change, a trucker may not be able to see a vehicle in the adjacent lane, resulting in the truck sideswiping that vehicle. Modern technology offers more ways to prevent sideswipes accidents, such as lane departure warnings and side-mounted cameras, but many trucks have yet to be equipped with these.