Semi-trucks, commonly known as “big rigs,” are crucial in transporting goods across the country. They are composed of two main components: the tractor-trailer carrying cargo and the skilled truck driver responsible for safely navigating these behemoths on our highways. While these massive vehicles are essential to our economy, their size, and unique challenges pose significant risks on the road. In this blog, learn more to explore some of the more common semi-truck accidents that can occur, shedding light on the potential dangers and the importance of safety in the trucking industry.
Rollover accidents are among the most alarming and hazardous incidents involving semi-trucks. These accidents occur when the trailer overturns, landing on nearby vehicles or obstructing the road. Several factors contribute to rollovers, including shifting cargo and taking turns at high speeds. The high center of gravity of semi-trucks makes them susceptible to tipping over if not operated with caution. Rollovers endanger the truck driver and pose a significant risk to other road users.
Jackknife accidents are another common semi-truck mishap, characterized by the trailer swinging at an angle and often colliding with nearby cars or pedestrians. These accidents are typically the result of adverse road conditions, such as slick roads due to rain or snow or poor braking performance. When the trailer loses traction and starts skidding, it can lead to a jackknife situation, creating a dangerous scenario for everyone sharing the road.
Tire Blowout Incidents
Semi-trucks place immense pressure on their tires due to their heavy loads and long journeys. As a result, tire blowouts are not uncommon in the trucking industry. A tire blowout can lead to instability in the truck, making it challenging for the driver to maintain control. The sudden loss of a tire can also result in debris on the road, posing a hazard to other vehicles. Regular tire maintenance and inspections are critical in reducing the risk of these incidents.
Underride accidents happen when a smaller vehicle, such as a passenger car or truck, collides with the back of a tractor-trailer and slips under the trailer due to the impact.
These accidents are hazardous because the smaller vehicle’s occupants are at risk of severe injury or fatality. Underride incidents are more likely to happen when following too closely or during sudden stops. The height of the semi-trailer creates a significant blind spot for the truck driver, making it crucial for other drivers to exercise caution when sharing the road with big rigs.
Override accidents happen when a semi-truck rides over another vehicle, typically in a blind spot called the “no zone.” These blind spots are areas around the truck where the driver’s visibility is limited. Override accidents can result from a failure to detect smaller vehicles, especially during lane changes or when merging. Vigilance and safe driving practices are essential to prevent these potentially fatal incidents.
Semi-trucks are essential for transporting goods and supporting our economy, but their unique characteristics and challenges make them prone to various accidents. Rollovers, jackknife incidents, tire blowouts, underride, and override accidents are some common semi-truck accidents that can have devastating consequences. All motorists should know the hazards of sharing the road with large trucks, and truck drivers should get specialized training to reduce these risks. Safety measures, proper maintenance, and responsible driving can reduce the frequency and severity of semi-truck accidents, ultimately making our highways safer for everyone.