Accidents can happen at any moment on busy Texas roads; and, crashes involving large trucks or 18-wheelers can be particularly devastating. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016 alone 4,317 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks. These larger vehicles can cause an incredible amount of damage when an accident occurs. In fact, earlier this month the driver of a passenger vehicle was critically injured after being involved in an 18-wheeler accident.
A passenger vehicle driving east near County Road 2950 in the same direction of a semi truck attempted to slow down to turn right at a turnaround. The driver of the semi truck changed lanes at the same time, resulting in an 18-wheeler accident that led to incapacitating injuries.
Why 18-Wheeler Accidents Happen
Commercial trucking is heavily used throughout the United States. Everything from furniture, to clothing, to food, and other items are transported by big rig around the nation each day. These large 18-wheelers are involved in accidents each year. Some of the most common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Drowsy driving
- Overweight loads
- Distracted driving
- Lack of proper training
- Improper maintenance
- Hazardous cargoes and spills
- Drunk or intoxicated driving
- Traffic congestion on roads not equipped for high traffic volume, often near Texas oilfields
Types of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Several different types of motor vehicle accidents are unique to 18-wheelers, including:
A large truck rollover accident happens when a truck tips over onto its side or roof. Rollover accidents are separated into two different categories based on how they occurred:
- Tripped rollovers: Tripped truck rollover accidents happen when an external object causes a truck to roll over. For example, in the event a semi truck slides off the highway and strikes a guardrail, causing it to roll over, this would be a tripped rollover as the guardrail was an external object that caused the truck to roll.
- Un-tripped rollovers: Un-tripped rollover accidents happen when an erroneous driver maneuver causes a vehicle to roll over. For instance, if a truck is driving too fast while making a turn or swerves suddenly to avoid an accident, these moves will likely cause a rollover to occur due to the substantial size and weight of the truck.
Large trucks typically include a cab and a trailer. A jackknife accident refers to an accident in which the trailer swings out to form an acute angle with the cab, making the truck resemble a partially folded pocketknife. Jackknife accidents are particularly dangerous, as the swinging trailer can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, while other vehicles can easily be swept up by the swinging trailer and can even end up wedged underneath it in an 18-wheeler accident.
An under-ride accident occurs when a vehicle crashes into a large truck and becomes trapped underneath it. The two most common types of collisions that result in under-ride accidents are:
- Side collisions: Side collisions occur when a truck driver turns onto a roadway, makes a U-turn, or changes lanes and hits another vehicle. A passenger car can become trapped underneath the truck’s trailer.
- Rear collisions: The size, weight, and force of a big rig make any impact with a passenger vehicle catastrophic. When a truck rear-ends a smaller vehicle – or even another large truck – the results are often extremely deadly.
In Texas, unsecured loads cause roughly 1,200 crashes every year. Unsecured-load accidents don’t all look the same either. Falling objects or materials from the unsecured load can hit unsuspecting vehicles, causing them to hit fallen items in the road or crash into other cars while attempting to avoid the debris.
A tire blowout refers to a rapid loss of tire air pressure that can cause a vehicle to lose control. Tire blowouts are particularly common among large commercial trucks that carry heavy cargo loads due to the intense friction between the wheels and pavement that causes truck tires to deteriorate quickly. Defectively manufactured tires, leaking tires, low or high tire air pressure, unbalanced cargo loads, and dangerous road conditions can all cause a truck tire blowout to occur.
Lubbock Trucking Accident Attorney
When an 18-wheeler accident happens, having the insight of a knowledgeable and experienced trucking attorney can help. At Liggett Law Group, we understand how frustrating and stressful motor vehicle accidents can be for the injured party and for their loved ones. We will fight to ensure the negligent parties involved are held accountable. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler or large truck, contact us today for a free consultation.