Every truck accident in Orange County is dangerous because commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, significantly outweighing passenger cars with an average weight of around 5,000 pounds. However, there are certain kinds of truck crashes that are especially high-risk and that may be more likely to occur than other crash types. Truckers need to be aware of the common types of truck accidents so they can drive more carefully to avoid endangering motorists.
Common and Dangerous Types of Truck Accidents
Recently, ABC News reported that a big rig collided with a sedan on a highway in California and the big rig rolled over. Major injuries were sustained in the crash.
Rollover accidents like this one are very common, as rollovers are one of the leading cause of fatal and serious truck crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a paper warning that rollover crashes involving large trucks were disproportionately likely to be deadly accidents. Of the truck crashes involved in the study, 18 percent involved a vehicle rolling over. However, 35 percent of the deadly accidents involved a vehicle rolling over.
Trucks are more likely than other kinds of cars on the road to roll over due to the fact trucks are top heavy and have a high center of gravity. If the truck's load is unbalanced, this exacerbates rollover risks. Drivers are also more likely to roll over when traveling on a curved path and when they either go too fast around the curve or hit the brakes suddenly around the curve.
While rollovers were an especially common type of crash involving large trucks, they are also not the only kind of collision likely to cause fatalities. Underride accidents are also among the most deadly truck crashes. Underride accidents happen if a car goes partially under the base of a truck when a crash happens. The car can end up under the truck from the back or from the side.
Underride guards are supposed to prevent this from happening but Insurance Institute for Highway Safety warns that underride guards aren't effective at stopping injuries or fatalities in underride accidents. In a study of 1,000 truck crashes, underride accidents accounted for 23 of 28 of the fatal truck collisions that occurred. When people died in these accidents, there was severe or significant underride. In total, just 22 percent of all truck accidents involved in the study didn't involve at least some underride occurring.
Finally, another especially dangerous type of truck crash is a jackknife crash which occurs when a trailer swings out from behind the vehicle towing it and causes the whole tractor-trailer to lose control. These kinds of accidents are most likely to happen if truckers brake when going down hill according to Wikihow. If a truck has a very light load, this can also exacerbate the chances of a jackknife accident occurring and the truck going out of control.