Deadly Semi Truck Accident Scenarios
We all see semi-trucks rumbling down the road all the time. They’re a common enough sight that we pay them no mind despite the fact that a semi-truck can easily cause some of the most devastating accidents with a single mistake. We forget that a truck amounts to 80,000 pounds hurtling at speed on a road.
Due to the unique nature of a semi truck’s composition and dimensions, accidents involving them tend to take on appropriately unique characteristics. An accident with a semi-truck is not so simple as a regular car accident. There is significantly more weight, more wheels, a trailer that needs to be controlled carefully, and the catastrophic physics that these aspects of semi trucks contribute to accidents.
Jackknife Semi Truck Accidents
Jackknifing may sound like it has to do with something sharp or pointed but it actually has more to do with the shape of a jackknife. Semi trucks are one of the most difficult vehicles to drive safely on the road. Commercial truck drivers are required to have extensive schooling testing done just to get their certification to drive their truck. Even then, truck drivers still need to accumulate a good amount of experience before they are 100% comfortable in their skills.
These vehicles are so difficult to handle mostly because of their size, weight, and the trailer’s range of motion behind the truck cab. The simple act of turning requires a deft hand, proper timing, spatial awareness, and understanding of how the weight in the trailer will act. Without these skills and more, a truck driver runs the risk of jackknifing.
Jackknifing is when the trailer of a semi-truck wraps around the side of the truck cab to resemble the shape of a closing jackknife blade into the handle. This dangerous truck event can occur for a number of reasons like equipment failure or hazardous road conditions but it mostly comes down to braking.
The physics break down to how the weight held at the back of the truck in the trailer, exceeds that of the truck cab and the trailer is not in a fixed position. In a situation where for some reason the front tires are moving at a slower speed than the back tires either because of a slick in the road or improper braking, the back tires will want to continue forward due to the greater momentum afforded by its greater weight. This causes the back tires to skid and wraps the trailer around because the trailer’s forces are pushing it forward while the front cab is going slower.
Rear Ending Semi Truck Accidents
Much like with a jackknifing accident, rear-ending accidents involving semi trucks are typically caused by issues with braking, equipment malfunction, and hazardous road conditions. Semi trucks have a much more difficult time braking than pretty much any other vehicle. The sheer force of momentum that propels the truck forward because of immense weight calls for advanced braking skills. Truckers have to brake much earlier than most other vehicles so that they can safely come to a gradual stop. They do not have the luxury of making instant stops by slamming on their brakes. Even if a truck driver were to brake as quickly as possible without jackknifing, then they would still travel a small distance which can mean plowing into the back of a vehicle that slammed the brakes in front of them.
Rollover Truck Accidents
Semi truck trailers are vulnerable to a great amount of sway. The weight that a semi truck hauls around is sensitive to any kind of turning forces that act on it. This forces truck drivers to be especially careful when they make turns or even switch lanes. Should a truck driver take a turn too quickly, the sway from the weight in a truck’s trailer could twist the truck over on its side as it tries to follow it’s momentum.
Blowouts That Cause Truck Accidents
A tire blowout is a possible risk for many vehicles and significantly increases the chance of an accident occurring. For a regular car, a tire blowout can cause some initial confusion and jerk in the driver’s control of the vehicle. For a semi truck, the event of a tire blowing out in the middle of the highway can have very grave consequences. Semi trucks are much more sensitive to sharp movements on account of their heavy trailers so a blowout in the middle of a turning maneuver or switching lanes could cause a semi truck to slam into another vehicle.
Underriding in Truck Accidents
Sometimes when a semi truck collides with another vehicle, that vehicle could find itself hitting the trailer of the truck and getting wedged in the space between the trailer and the road. This is called underriding. The majority of surface area that a car can collide with a truck is the trailer and vehicles like sedans and other low roofed vehicles stand a great risk of underriding a semi truck. These kinds of truck accidents often directly destroy passenger areas of a vehicle with fatal consequences. When a car underrides a semi truck they can either get trapped under the truck and dragged along until they are scraped and spun off or they can simply get run over by the truck. It all depends on the speed they were going, the angle of the collision, and the sizes of the vehicles.
Lost Load Truck Accidents
Trucks haul a surprising amount of material. This can range anywhere from truckloads of pillows to truckloads of dangerous chemicals. The bottom line is that should a truck lose its load either from an accident, door malfunction, or improper loading then other vehicles in the road can be put in serious danger. Truckers have a responsibility to secure their loads up to regulation standards so that something like hauled piping doesn’t get loose and fall in the road to injure a driver.
Contact Sand Law’s Experienced Minnesota Truck Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been involved in a Minnesota truck accident, you could be entitled to compensation even if you didn’t report your injuries right away; after all, you didn’t have the symptoms the right away. Consider contacting Sand Law about a possible car accident injury claim and how we can assist you in seeking compensation for your injuries. Your primary concern should be recovery and we understand that balancing that with an injury claim can be difficult. Allow us to represent you and help secure a settlement you are comfortable with while you heal.