In 2012, 330,000 trucks were involved in accidents, leading to 104,000 injuries. In total, there were 3,921 people killed in truck accidents according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These accidents occurred in many different ways. However, three especially deadly types of truck accidents include rollover crashes, underride accidents, and jackknife accidents.
Truck drivers need to be aware of the risks of all accident types, especially collisions in which trucks roll over, tractor trailers jackknife, and cars slide under trucks. If drivers take steps to prevent these and other crashes from occurring, thousands of lives will be saved.
Preventing Three Common Types of Crashes
Underride accidents could be prevented if the proper safety equipment was used. There should be effective side guards and effective rear guards to stop cars from sliding underneath trucks when accidents happen. Unfortunately, guards that are mandated on the back of trucks to stop underride accidents do not always work as they should. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported on a study of 1,000 truck crashes which found that only 22 percent of truck crashes in which a car hit the back of a truck didn't involve underride. Out of the 1,000 crashes studied, 28 were deadly accidents. In these fatal crashes, 23 of the collisions involved cars sliding under trucks. Better safety equipment could prevent all this from happening.
Rollover accidents can be prevented by drivers loading their trucks correctly and maintaining control of their vehicles by going slowly, especially around curves. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates unbalanced loads and the top-heavy nature of trucks contribute to causing rollover accidents. This is an especially big problem if trucks take curves too fast. As a truck goes around a curve, the centrifugal force causes it to try to lean away from the curving direction, which can lead it to tip over. Truck rollover accidents were found in the NHTSA paper to account for about 35 percent of deadly truck accidents, even though only around 18 percent of total truck accidents were rollover collisions.
Several different steps can help to prevent jackknife accidents, which are another especially dangerous type of truck crashes. Jackknife accidents happen when a skid occurs. The trailer that is being towed pushes out from behind as the skid happens, and the towing vehicle is hit and begins to spin around as well. The driver thus loses control of the entire vehicle. Truck drivers can prevent this from happening by avoiding high-risk behaviors like decelerating or braking when going around curves, or braking quickly when traveling downhill. Drivers should also make sure brakes do not become worn and should avoid using engine brakes or retarders on slippery surfaces because the drive axle could get locked up.
If drivers take steps to prevent rollover accidents, underride accidents, and jackknife accidents, some of the most dangerous kinds of truck collisions could be eliminated, making both motorists and truckers safer on the roads.
A Fairfield County personal injury lawyer at Vishno Law Firm can help after a collision. Call 888-222-1688 today.