Seeing a tractor trailer laying on its side or flipped over is frightening for a lot of reasons. Not only is it dangerous for the driver of the truck, but it’s also dangerous for all of the cars and drivers in the truck’s path. You might not realize, but large trucks can rollover easily if the conditions are right.
Because of their design, tractor trailers rollover more often than regular vehicles. They have a higher center of gravity, which can be thrown off more easily than a passenger vehicle. They also have more weight that might not be evenly distributed, which makes them easier to tip over.
In fact, 48% of fatal large truck accidents were rollovers, compared to only about 36% of fatal accidents of regular sized vehicles, as reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Overturning of semi-trucks is the most dangerous event that could happen to a truck, and is the leading cause of fatalities in truck accidents, according to he Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Hundreds of truckers die each year from rollovers, even though FMCSA reports that these accidents only account for around 4% of the approximately 450,000 trucking accidents that occurred last year. But equals out to about 18,000 rollover accidents a year, which is still a large number, and shows that the accidents are more common than we think.
Causes of Rollover Truck Accidents
When trucks roll over, the accident can get very dangerous very quickly. In order to prevent these crashes from happening, we should look to the most common causes. According to the FMCSA, 78% of tractor trailer rollover accidents are caused by, or involve, driver error.
Consumer Reports mentions that a turn that is too sharp and taken too quickly creates a pendulum effect where the truck swings more and more and eventually topples the truck. These errors usually happen around curves in the road, and these are the factors that cause rollovers the most:
- Speed. Since you are in a bigger vehicle than normal, and since it is usually weighed down by the load in the trailer, it’s important to maintain a safe speed at all time. Keeping an appropriate speed allows you to keep a safe distance from cars in front of you when you need to brake and makes you able to carefully maneuver curves without losing control.
- Load. While the load in the trailer could be very heavy, it might also be unevenly distributed through the space. When that is the case, one side could be heavier than the other, and cause the truck to jackknife or roll after a sharp curve.
- Oversteering. Overcorrecting is a common mistake that all drivers make. When a truck driver does it, it can be more serious because their large truck could easily roll from the force.
Truck accidents can easily turn deadly. With such heavy trailers and large tractors, truck drivers have to be extremely cautious while driving. Other vehicles on the road should also be careful around large trucks because truckers can only do so much in an emergency situation. Driving carefully is always important, but especially when there are large, deadly trucks involved.
If you’ve been in a truck accident, whether you’re a truck driver or were in a regular passenger vehicle, your injuries could be severe and deeply impact your life. The person responsible should be held liable, and you can’t do that on your own. To ensure you get justice, you should reach out to a truck accident lawyer from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, in Jackson, Mississippi. We can give you the support you need to get compensation for your injuries and damaged property. Contact us today so we can talk about your case.
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