What Are Some of the Most Common Tractor-Trailer Accidents?
In the United States, there are around 500,000 big rig crashes involving large trucks and trailers each year. Unfortunately, the results are usually catastrophic, accounting for 10% of all traffic deaths annually. The size of the tractor-trailers, the difficulty in braking quickly and the blind spots are just a few contributing factors to the accidents. Even when the accidents are not the fault of the commercial driver, there is often not enough time or space to safely avoid impact.
Reasons for Tractor-Trailer Accidents
Though there are hundreds of reasons for tractor-trailer accidents, there are 10 that seem to be the most frequent contributors:
- Brake failure or malfunction
- Traffic congestion
- Prescription drugs
- Weather conditions
- Distracted driving
- Road issues
- Failure to stop for a crosswalk or a red light
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Lack of awareness of potential hazards
- Driver fatigue
Any of the causes can change lives in an instant. Despite rules governing the hours that over the road truck drivers can be behind the wheel, fatigue remains a significant factor in tractor-trailer accidents. Lack of sufficient rest can cause impaired judgment, irrational anger, reliance on stimulants and sleep disturbances, particularly when it is over a long period.
The Most Common Types of Tractor-Trailer Accidents
When an 80,000-pound vehicle is involved in an accident, there can be significant damage to vehicles, people and property. The most common types of accidents are:
- Jackknife accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Blowout accidents
- Underside accidents
When a truck is hauling a trailer, if the driver isn’t cautious, the cab of the truck can get turned in the opposite direction than the trailer, stopping any forward momentum and rendering the driver helpless to steer the truck. In a rollover accident, typical on steep grades or tight curves, the vehicle rolls over itself and anything in its path, often spilling the load, as well. If one or more tires experience a blowout, it could cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Finally, an underside accident can occur when a truck stops, and a trailing car ends up driving underneath the trailer.
If you have been injured or if your loved one was killed in an accident involving a tractor-trailer, contact a trucking accident lawyer in Memphis, TN. They can review your case and advise you on your rights under the law. Your attorney will be able to explain your legal options and guide you through the process.
Thanks to Patterson Bray for their insight into personal injury claims and tractor-trailer accidents.