The Most Common Truck Accident Types

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By JohnBarnes

The trucking industry is regulated by the FMCSA, which estimates that over 100,000 truck accidents leading to injuries happen every single year in byways, highways, and interstates. Unfortunately, this means there are around 5,000 fatal crashes happening involving trucks.

The regular passenger vehicle weighs between 3,000 and 6,000 pounds. The semi-truck, when it is fully loaded, can easily weigh around 80,000 pounds. This weight difference means a collision between the two can quickly become fatal for passenger vehicles. There are way too many truck accidents that are fatal than there should be so it is important to be aware of the most common types out there.

Head-On Accidents

These are quite rare but they almost always lead to fatal injuries. This is especially the case when high speeds are involved. Head-on collisions can happen because the truck driver is losing control and cannot avoid oncoming traffic.

There are several reasons why truck drivers can lose control, ranging from being under the influence to speeding. Even driver fatigue is common in such situations.

Rear-End Accidents

The truck driver who is speeding, distracted, or tailgating can easily end up involved in rear-end collisions. Because of the truck’s massive weight and size, as the car tries to make a quick durn, comes to a sudden stop, or attempts any fast maneuver, the truck driver will find it very difficult to slow down or stop so that the collision can be avoided. For such collisions to be avoided, the FMCSA dictates that a distance of at least 6 seconds should be present when behind a passenger vehicle.

A particular type of rear-end collision is the underride accident. Whenever a vehicle driver strikes the tractor trailer’s back area, it is possible to slide run under.

Side-Impact Truck Accidents

These are also known as angle collisions, broadside collisions, and T-bones. Such accidents often happen at intersections but they are not as frequent as all the other ones already mentioned.

During side-impact truck accidents, the truck hits the side of a passenger vehicle. This easily takes out any passengers, occupants, and drivers. Trying to speed as the truck is going through the red light or not taking into account a stop sign because of distraction are the two most common reasons why such accidents happen.

Jackknife Truck Accidents

Tractor-trailers and semi-trucks are made out of 2 parts: the trailer and the cab. There is a hitch under the trailer’s forward area that is pivoting as a turn is made by the truck. The jackknife truck accident happens when the trailer keeps moving and goes past the maximum of the hitch. The name of the type is that because the trailer moves towards the cab in a similar way to how a jackknife folds.

Various scenarios can end up in jackknife truck accidents. Improper braking is the most common one. If the diver brakes fast or utilizes the engine break during inclement weather, the result is a skid. This can lead to the jackknife happening, which can lead to very serious multi-vehicle accidents on busy roads.