Truck Accidents Come in All Shapes. They Are All Serious.
The causes of truck accidents are many and varied, but the results are nearly always devastating to the victims. Truck accidents around the country are tracked by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The role of the FMCSA is to protect the safety of truck drivers while ensuring that equipment and driving practices provide maximum protection for other drivers and passengers sharing the road.
Common types of truck accidents monitored by the FMCSA include:
- Truck jackknife and rollover accidents
- Flatbed accidents
- Delivery truck and commercial vehicle accidents
- Construction vehicle and snowplow accidents
- Fatal truck accidents
- Underride truck accidents
- Override truck accidents
- Garbage truck accidents
- Hazardous material truck accidents
To be effective, the FMCSA has various divisions responsible for tracking the types of truck accidents. According to the FMCSA, the most common types of truck accidents are:
- Brake failure while descending a hill: Eighteen-wheelers and heavy construction equipment require cool brakes that are in good working condition. The brake pads must be replaced or the disks resurfaced after a certain number of hours on the road. One of the leading causes of truck accidents is insufficient braking power to overcome the gravitational forces pulling a vehicle weighing several tons down a hill.
- Illegal lane changes and underride accidents: Peripheral visibility from inside a truck cab is very difficult, particularly from the height of the driver's seat. Visibility to the rear of the trailer is impossible. Every year, thousands of truck accidents occur when the truck driver changes lanes and squeezes a passing car or truck off the road. In heavy traffic, small passenger cars have nowhere to go except under the carriage of the trailer.
- Jackknife and rollovers: Large tractor-trailers have a high center of gravity. Load imbalance can make this problem even worse. Once a big rig starts moving sideways in a skid, it is easy for the load weight to overcome all efforts on the part of the driver. The brakes stop the wheels from moving forward. Nothing stops the top load.
- Head-on collisions: Meeting a semi truck on a narrow two-lane road is every driver's nightmare. In many cases, the truck driver simply cannot move over without putting a wheel in the ditch. Head-on collisions are often the most catastrophic and deadly, as the vehicles meet at full force.
- Pull-outs and blind spot accidents: Truckers trying to pull heavy, slow vehicles into speeding traffic often take risks, expecting oncoming traffic to see them and make way. From high up in the cab, the visibility is often poor and mistakes are made as to distance and speed.
- Wide turns: Because of their size, 18-wheel trucks require a wide berth to make turns. Too often, an inexperienced truck driver misjudges the distance and requires too much road, often pulling the cab into oncoming traffic as it swings wide to complete the turn.
Common damages to arise out of these truck accidents are medical expenses, lost wages and loss of life. Various entities may be held liable for the damages arising out of a truck accident, including the trucking company and governmental entities that failed to maintain roads and highways. The full extent of liable parties usually depends on the facts of a particular truck accident.
National Truck Accident Lawyers
For more than a quarter-century, the law firm of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain has protected the rights of people injured in accidents caused by truck driver and truck company negligence. In those 25 years, we have represented victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries or lost loved ones in truck accidents involving tractor-trailers and commercial vehicles in states across the country, including Illinois, California, Texas and Florida.
To speak with a truck accident attorney at Humphrey, Farrington & McClain, contact us online or call 888-353-0491.