Commercial Truck driving

The Most Common Truck Accident Types

Jun 12, 2024 | 18-Wheeler Accident

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Truck accidents are a significant concern on our roads. They often result in severe injuries, property damage, and even loss of life. Understanding the types of truck accidents is crucial. It helps us identify their causes and devise strategies to prevent them. In this article, we delve into the most common truck accident types. We explore their causes, consequences, and prevention measures.

Our focus is not only on truck drivers but also on other road users. We aim to raise awareness about truck crashes and traffic incidents. Whether you’re a truck driver, a trucking company manager, or a road safety advocate, this article is for you. It’s also for anyone seeking to understand the risks associated with truck accidents.

Understanding Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are complex events. They involve large vehicles, often carrying heavy or hazardous loads.

The consequences of these accidents can be devastating. They can lead to serious injuries, fatalities, and significant property damage.

Understanding truck accidents requires a comprehensive approach. We need to consider various factors such as the type of truck, the load it’s carrying, the driver’s experience, and the road conditions.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • The size and weight of the truck
  • The type of cargo
  • The driver’s skill and experience
  • The weather and road conditions
  • The behavior of other road users

The Role of Commercial Trucks in Transportation

Commercial trucks play a vital role in our economy. They transport goods across cities, states, and countries.

However, their size and weight make them potential hazards on the road. This is why understanding truck accidents is so important.

Key Statistics on Truck Accident Frequency

Truck accidents are unfortunately common. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2018, there were 499,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in the United States.

Of these, 4,415 were fatal, and 107,000 resulted in injury. These statistics underscore the importance of understanding and preventing truck accidents.

Common Types of Truck Accidents

18 wheeler truck

Truck accidents can occur in various ways. Each type of accident has its unique causes and consequences.

Here are some of the most common types of truck accidents:

Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents occur when a truck’s trailer swings out to form a 90-degree angle with the cab. This often happens when a truck brakes suddenly or skids on a slippery road.

These accidents are particularly dangerous because they can block multiple lanes of traffic, leading to multi-vehicle collisions.

Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents happen when a truck tips over onto its side or roof. This can occur due to high speed, sudden turns, or improper load distribution.

Rollover accidents are hazardous as they can cause extensive damage and injuries, especially if the truck’s cargo spills onto the road.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions involve a truck hitting the vehicle in front of it. Due to trucks’ large size and weight, these accidents can be devastating for the occupants of the smaller vehicle.

The main causes of rear-end collisions include distracted driving, tailgating, and brake failure.

Underride Accidents

Underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicle slides under the rear or side of a truck. These accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the smaller vehicle’s roof being crushed or sheared off.

Underride guards on trucks can help prevent these accidents, but they are not always effective.

Head-On Collisions

Head-on collisions involve a truck and another vehicle hitting each other front-to-front. These accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the high-impact force.

Common causes include distracted driving, fatigue, and driving under the influence.

Lost Load Accidents

Lost load accidents happen when a truck’s cargo is not properly secured and falls onto the road. This can create hazardous conditions for other road users, leading to accidents.

Proper cargo securement is crucial in preventing these accidents.

T-Bone and Wide Turn Accidents

T-bone accidents occur when a truck hits the side of another vehicle, forming a “T” shape. Wide turn accidents happen when a truck swings out too far while making a turn, hitting another vehicle.

Both types of accidents are common in urban areas with tight intersections.

Blind Spot Accidents

Blind spot accidents happen when a truck driver fails to see a vehicle in their blind spot and makes a maneuver. Trucks have large blind spots on all four sides, making these accidents quite common.

Drivers should always check their blind spots before changing lanes or turning.

Contributing Factors to Truck Accidents

Several factors contribute to these various types of truck accidents. Understanding these can help in prevention efforts.

Here are some of the main contributing factors:

Driver Fatigue and Hours of Service Violations

Driver fatigue is a significant factor in many truck accidents. Long hours on the road can lead to tiredness and decreased alertness.

Violations of Hours of Service regulations, which limit driving time, can exacerbate fatigue-related risks.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance and Equipment Failure

Poor vehicle maintenance can lead to equipment failure, causing accidents. Brake failures, tire blowouts, and steering issues are common problems.

Regular inspections and maintenance are crucial in preventing these issues.

Adverse Weather Conditions and Road Hazards

Adverse weather conditions, such as rain, snow, or fog, can make driving more challenging. These conditions can reduce visibility and make roads slippery.

Road hazards, like potholes or debris, can also contribute to accidents.

Distracted and Impaired Driving

Distracted driving, such as using a phone or eating while driving, is a common cause of accidents. It takes the driver’s attention away from the road.

Impaired driving, due to alcohol or drugs, also significantly increases the risk of accidents.

Preventing Truck Accidents

Preventing truck accidents is a shared responsibility. Both truck drivers and other road users can take steps to reduce risks.

Here are some key areas of focus:

  • Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
  • Road Sharing Tips for Passenger Vehicle Drivers

Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

Truck drivers can significantly reduce accident risks by adhering to safety practices. These include following Hours of Service regulations to avoid fatigue and conducting regular vehicle inspections to ensure roadworthiness.

Avoiding distractions and staying sober are also crucial for safe driving.

Road Sharing Tips for Passenger Vehicle Drivers

Passenger vehicle drivers also have a role in preventing truck accidents. Understanding that trucks have larger blind spots and require more space to maneuver can help avoid collisions.

Additionally, maintaining a safe distance from trucks, especially in adverse weather conditions, can prevent rear-end collisions.

Legal and Insurance Considerations

Truck accidents often involve complex legal and insurance issues. Determining liability can be a challenging process, involving multiple parties.

Insurance implications can also be significant, affecting both drivers and trucking companies.

Here are some key areas of focus:

  • Determining Liability and Understanding Insurance Implications
  • The Importance of Accident Investigation

Determining Liability and Understanding Insurance Implications

In truck accidents, liability may fall on the truck driver, the trucking company, or even the vehicle manufacturer. Determining this requires a thorough understanding of trucking regulations and the specifics of the incident.

Insurance implications can be significant. Accidents can lead to increased premiums for trucking companies and drivers, impacting the industry’s overall costs.

The Importance of Accident Investigation

Accident investigations play a crucial role in determining liability. They involve examining the accident scene, reviewing driver logs, and analyzing vehicle data.

These investigations can provide valuable insights into the causes of the accident, helping to prevent similar incidents in the future.

If You Have Been In A Truck Accident, Call Walker Texas Lawyer

In light of the serious implications that truck accidents entail, from catastrophic injuries to the profound emotional and economic toll they impose on victims and their families, seeking professional legal assistance becomes essential. Understanding the complexity of these types of accidents demands not only a comprehensive awareness but also a strategic approach towards seeking justice and compensation. Walker Texas Lawyer, with a seasoned expertise in handling truck accident cases, stands ready to guide you through the legal maze. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, do not shoulder the burden alone. Contact Walker Texas Lawyer to ensure your rights are fervently protected and to embark on the path to recovery with a trusted advocate by your side. Remember, in the wake of such distressing times, having the right legal ally can make all the difference. Call Walker Texas Lawyer today.


For more information, contact Houston’s accident law firm of Walker Texas Lawyer by calling (713) 552-1117.

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James Walker - Walker Texas Lawyer James Walker is a Personal Injury Attorney in Houston, Texas. He has over 40 years of legal experience and has helped over 25,000 clients. This means he has demonstrated his extensive knowledge of legal procedures. He knows how to handle insurance companies. If insurance companies refuse to give you a fair shake, they will take the insurance companies to court. He knows the law inside and out. He knows what he’s doing.

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