As a driver, you should always be aware of the risks that come with sharing the road with large tractor-trailer trucks. While these commercial vehicles help serve an important purpose in delivering goods across vast distances, large trucks also pose unique dangers on the roads due to their sheer size and weight.
Unfortunately, accidents involving tractor-trailers are all too common, so it’s essential for drivers of automobiles to understand some of the most common types of truck crashes. Knowing what could happen is key to being prepared and staying alive when driving near a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the different types of truck accidents as well as provide actionable steps for avoiding them altogether.
Overview of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are some of the most severe collisions on the road. They often occur on busy highways and can result in multiple vehicles being involved in the crash. Truck accidents can be attributed to a variety of circumstances, such as:
- Mechanical failure
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Hazardous weather conditions
Common Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents often involve very serious outcomes due to the sheer size and weight of tractor-trailers. Common types of truck accidents include the following:
- Head-On Collisions – Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous types of truck accidents, as the sheer force of the impact can cause serious physical harm or even death. Because there is no physical separation between the vehicles involved at the time of impact, victims may suffer a variety of collision-related injuries, such as broken bones and traumatic brain injuries.
- Rear-End Collisions – Rear-end collisions between tractor-trailer trucks and other vehicles are among the most common and dangerous types of accidents. The speed, size, and weight of a tractor-trailer truck can cause serious injury or death when they hit an unsuspecting driver from behind.
- T-Bone Collisions – T-bone collisions, or side-impact crashes, are some of the most dangerous types of accidents involving tractor-trailer trucks. These collisions involve one vehicle driving into the side of another vehicle at a right angle. They are commonly caused by drivers running stop signs or red lights. When a tractor-trailer truck is involved in such a crash, these collisions can have devastating consequences due to the size and weight of the truck.
- Tire Blowouts – Tire blowouts are one of the leading causes of tractor-trailer truck accidents, especially on long distance trips. A tire blowout can be caused by a variety of things, including improper maintenance, overloading of the vehicle, or a puncture. Not only can improperly maintaining a truck’s tires, or overloading it, create dangerous road conditions and possibly lead to an accident, but it is also illegal for drivers to operate vehicles that have not been properly maintained and inspected. It is essential that drivers inspect their tires thoroughly before each trip, so they can avoid any potential risks associated with a tire blowout.
Steps to Take if You’ve Been Injured in a Trucking Accident
If you've been victimized in a tractor-trailer accident, the last thing you need is more stress. But making sure all your needs are met requires that you take certain steps:
- First and foremost, assess any medical needs. Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the incident and get checked out to make sure you're okay.
- Secondly, seek legal guidance. An experienced attorney can help you determine potential compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and other related issues.
- Thirdly, document everything. Take pictures of the scene of the accident if able and collect names of witnesses as well as their contact information.
- Finally, contact the authorities. Your insurance company or attorney may require documentation from law enforcement or other government agencies before they can act upon claims.
Taking care of these steps after experiencing a trucking accident will likely ensure that all your available rights are protected during this difficult time.
For more information about what to do if you’ve been the victim of a tractor-trailer truck accident, call Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner, PLLC at (304) 713-2014 or reach out to us online today for a free consultation with our experienced truck accident lawyers.