The Top 5 Types of Truck Accidents and How to Avoid Them

There are many types of truck accidents, and some are difficult to avoid. Both truck drivers and other road users can follow steps to ensure that accidents are averted. In this article, McAllen personal injury lawyer Dr. Louis Patino looks at the top five types of truck accidents and provides tips on how to prevent them.

By being aware of these common accidents from truck accident lawyers and taking proactive measures, we can all work towards safer roads.

1.   Tire Blowout Truck Accidents

One of the most dangerous situations on the road involving trucks is a tire blowout. When a tire suddenly bursts while a truck is in motion, the consequences can be severe. It can lead to loss of control, rollovers, or collisions with other vehicles.

A tire blowout is a very unpredictable issue and can cause other vehicles around the truck to react quickly but unpredictably. The truck may also swerve into adjacent lanes with little warning.

Drivers should avoid staying alongside any trucks for too long along highways. The reason is that if the truck blows a tire, the debris from the blowout could strike a car’s windshield. This may cause erratic driving of vehicles close to the truck,  leading to accidents.

What can truck drivers do to avoid tire blowout accidents? They should:

  • Regularly inspect and maintain tires, including checking inflation levels and tread wear. Checks should be thorough to avoid air leaks or loss of pressure.
  • Avoid overloading trucks, as excessive weight can increase the risk of tire blowouts.
  • Avoid driving at high speeds, as this puts additional stress on tires.
  • Drive with caution and remain alert, as tire blowouts can happen suddenly.


2.   Rollover Truck Accidents

Rollover accidents involving trucks can be devastating. These accidents occur when a truck tips over onto its side or roof. A combination of factors often causes these accidents: high speeds, sharp turns, or improper weight distribution.

Sadly, these truck accidents are quite common and often have tragic consequences. The usual causes of rollover accidents include:

  • A weighted truck with too much cargo inside.
  • Wet or icy roads and severe weather.
  • Taking a turn at too high a speed.
  • A snap decision to suddenly change lanes.
  • Driver fatigue, resulting in loss of control.
  • Distraction due to phone use.

There are ways for truck drivers to reduce the chances of a rollover accident.

  • Follow speed limits and adjust your speed based on the road and the weather.
  • Be cautious when navigating curves and turns, reducing speed as necessary.
  • Maintain proper load distribution and secure cargo to prevent it from shifting during transportation.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the truck’s suspension and braking systems.
  • Never use your phone when driving.


3.   Underride Truck Accidents

Underride accidents involve smaller vehicles sliding underneath the rear or side of a truck. These accidents cause the passenger vehicle to become trapped or crushed beneath the truck.

Vehicles tailing a truck can avoid underride accidents by:

  • Maintaining a safe distance and avoiding tailgating trucks, as they can make fast stops and have inconsistent speeds.
  • Exercising caution in low-light conditions and using headlights to improve visibility.
  • Avoiding sudden lane changes near trucks.
  • Staying out of the truck’s blind spot in case it changes lanes.

Truck drivers should equip trucks with rear underride guards. These help prevent vehicles from sliding underneath. However, they’re not perfect; the guard may not withstand the impact of the collision.


4.   Unsecured Load Accidents

Accidents caused by unsecured loads are preventable yet still common. When truck cargo is not properly secured, it can shift or fall onto the road, endangering nearby vehicles.

To prevent accidents caused by unsecured loads, truck drivers can stick to the following steps:

  • Ensure the cargo is properly loaded and secured before hitting the road.
  • Regularly inspect and adjust cargo securement during transportation.
  • Follow applicable regulations, guidelines, and best practices for load securement.

In addition, other road drivers should maintain a safe distance from trucks carrying large or unsecured loads.

5.   Jackknife Accidents

Jackknife accidents occur when the trailer of a truck swings outward, forming a “V” shape. These accidents often result from sudden braking, mechanical failures, or adverse road conditions.

Truck drivers can prevent jackknife accidents with some regular checks and a little driving etiquette:

  • Maintain proper braking techniques and follow the recommended distances for braking.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the truck’s braking system.
  • Be cautious when driving in inclement weather, as wet or icy roads increase the risk of jackknifing.
  • Practice defensive driving and be aware of other vehicles’ positions on the road.

Stay Aware of the Top Five Types of Truck Accidents

Take proactive measures to prevent accidents by prioritizing road safety as a truck driver or a driver alongside trucks. If you were not at fault as a truck driver or in another vehicle during a truck collision, consult a truck accident lawyer about your rights.

Truck drivers must maintain proper vehicle maintenance, follow safety guidelines, and practice defensive driving. We can all contribute to a safer and more harmonious roadway environment. Remember, each of us plays a part in avoiding accidents and safeguarding lives on the road.

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