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3 of the more common and serious types of semi-truck crashes

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2023 | Truck Accidents

Researchers often categorize car crashes based on the type of vehicle involved or the location of a collision. These categorizations can help people better understand traffic safety issues that contribute to specific travel-related risks. The underlying causes of intersection crashes are often very different from the causes of freeway collisions, for example. The factors that contribute to semi-truck collisions are very different than the elements present in the typical passenger vehicle wreck.

When looking at commercial vehicles and the crashes they cause, there are a few types of collisions that are relatively common. The following types of crashes have a strong association with semi-trucks.

Underride collisions

Underride collisions typically only occur when there is a drastic size difference between the vehicles involved in a wreck. If a commercial truck rear-ends a passenger vehicle and goes over it, people tend to refer to that as an override collision.  A smaller vehicle can strike a large commercial truck and may end up crushed underneath it in an underride collision.

Rear underride crashes occur when a passenger vehicle rear-ends the trailer of a semi-truck. Trailers should have a special guard installed to minimize the severity of such collisions. Side underride crashes occur when a passenger vehicle passes between the axles on a trailer. This kind of crash can cause catastrophic vehicle damage and injuries.

Jackknife incidents

A jackknife incident doesn’t automatically involve other vehicles like most crashes would. Sometimes, a jackknife incident merely inconveniences others in traffic by shutting down a major thoroughfare. When a truck driver loses control of the trailer, possibly due to skidding, it may end up traveling in a different direction than the cab. The motion of the two separate parts of the vehicle is what gives a jackknife incident its name. Jackknife collisions can affect multiple other vehicles and shut down highways and on-ramps when they occur.

Rollover incidents

A semi-truck is very large and unwieldy. The placement of heavy materials in the trailer can exacerbate these risk factors by making it very difficult to control the vehicle. Uneven weight distribution and sudden maneuvers can combine to cause rollover crashes that shut down highways and involve multiple other vehicles.

Careful driving habits and proper vehicle maintenance are both crucial for the prevention of semi-truck collisions. Those affected by semi-truck crashes often face challenges establishing who was to blame and what long-term impact the crash will have on their lives. Requesting compensation after a semi-truck collision may necessitate a complicated insurance claim or possibly a personal injury lawsuit against a trucking company, which is just one reason why seeking legal guidance in the wake of an injurious crash is generally wise.