According to Cullman Today, Interstate 65 was recently shut down because an 18-wheeler rolled over in a fiery crash. One Kentucky businessman commented to the news that the accident had left him stuck on the highway for so long to try to get to a meeting that he should have just gotten a hotel room. The operator of the truck was fortunately able to get out of the vehicle, which had flipped onto its side, before the flames engulfed the truck.
Tragically, many truck accidents in Louisville and throughout Kentucky do much more than just close down an interstate and inconvenience drivers. Rollover crashes, in particular, can be deadly. Truck drivers need to be aware of the fact their vehicles are more likely to roll over and must take precautions to prevent this type of crash from occurring.
Trucks are also prone to two other especially dangerous types of accidents: underride accidents and jackknife crashes. It is the responsibility of every truck driver to be aware of the elevated risk of these types of dangerous collisions and to take steps to try to prevent crashes from happening.
Three Dangerous Types of Truck Accidents
Underride accidents are one of the deadliest type of truck crash. An underride accident occurs in any situation where another car actually goes underneath a truck. There should be side and rear guards on trucks so other vehicles cannot slide underneath, but these guards don’t always get the job done. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that there are more than 5,000 injuries and 423 fatalities annually in underride accidents. A large-scale study of the causes of 1,000 truck crashes found that underride had occurred in 78 percent of all collisions. In this study, there were 28 fatal truck accidents, 23 of which involved significant underride.
National Highway Traffic Safety Institute also published a paper warning about the dangers of rollover crashes, which are another leading cause of truck accident deaths. In this study, only approximately 18 percent of all truck accidents involved the truck rolling over. However, the death rate in rollover crashes was disproportionately high. A total of 35 percent of fatal crashes involved trucks rolling over.
Jackknife accidents, like rollover crashes and underride accidents, are a major cause of serious truck collisions. Jackknife accidents happen on tractor-trailers when, according to Wikihow, the trailer swings out sideways instead of staying where it should. As the trailer swings out, it comes around and hits the vehicle that is towing it, prompting the entire vehicle to lose control.
Truck drivers need to know what the primary causes of these dangerous truck accidents are. Unbalanced loads, failure to maintain vehicles properly, and unsafe driving behaviors are leading causes of rollover crashes, underride accidents and jackknife accidents. Braking in an unsafe way when going down a hill or around a curve, for example, can significantly increase the risk of both a jackknife crash and an underride crash. When these types of accidents happen, victims – and their attorneys – should determine if driver actions were to blame.