At McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle, & Fordham, our personal injury and wrongful death attorneys specialize in road traffic accidents involving trucks. There are many different types of injuries that can occur in a collision involving a truck or tractor-trailer.
Some common trucking accidents are rollovers, jackknifes and under-ride accidents. These accidents can occur due to a variety of factors including truck driver error, improperly secured loads, substance abuse, speeding or environmental factors such as inclement weather, standing water or even attempting to avoid an accident.
Common Trucking Accidents
- Jack knife accidents can be unpredictable and often result in substantial personal injury and fatalities. This usually describes the accidental folding of a tractor trailer. This is called jackknifing because a tractor-trailer will resemble the folding of a pocket knife or jackknife. In some cases it may be caused by equipment failure, improper braking, or adverse road conditions such as ice or standing water.
A jackknife accident takes less than a second to happen and usually results from sudden braking. It causes the drive axle brakes to lock before the trailer brakes or the front axle brakes. If the cab skids, the trailer can push it from behind until the tractor spins into the trailer.
- Underride Accidents usually occur when a passenger vehicle collides with a truck and runs under it. Even at low speeds, these accidents are often fatal to drivers and passengers in cars.
Trailers and flatbed trucks are usually nearly four feet from the ground, whereas car hoods are typically less than 30 inches high. Underride collisions cause serious injuries to occupants of passenger vehicles such as cars and SUVs. The force of impact can sheer the roof from a car, causing life-threatening injuries and deaths.
There are regulations in place to equip trucks with reflective tape or an additional rear bumper positioned approximately 22 inches high. However, there are still thousands of trucks lacking the proper safety equipment.