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Large commercial vehicles are common on our urban streets and rural backroads. While sharing the road with these trucks is not inherently dangerous, a truck driver’s error can easily lead to a devastating accident.
If you were injured in a truck accident in Mississippi, the personal injury lawyers at Derek L. Hall, PC can help you seek the compensation you deserve. We understand how stressful it is to navigate the claims process on your own. Trucking accidents are incredibly complex, and you shouldn’t have to deal with the legal process while you’re recovering from your injuries.
You deserve the help of the experienced and compassionate legal team at Derek L. Hall, PC. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Are the Most Common Types of Truck Accidents?
Large commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. They’re heavy, bulky, and complicated machines, making them particularly dangerous in a collision. Some of the most common types of truck accidents include the following:
- Head-on collisions – Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles approaching from opposite directions crash into one another. The results can be catastrophic when a large truck hits a car head-on, even at low speeds.
- Rear-end collisions – Rear-end collisions happen when one vehicle hits the back of another vehicle. While rear-end collisions can be minor, the consequences can be severe with a large truck involved. Rear-end crashes also have the potential to cause multi-vehicle accidents in heavy traffic.
- Rollover accidents – Trucks have a much higher center of gravity than passenger vehicles, making them more likely to overturn.
- Jackknife accidents – Most tractor-trailers have two separate braking systems. If a truck driver slams the brakes in the cab, the trailer can continue traveling forward. This causes it to swing around the side of the cab at a ninety-degree angle.
- Underride accidents – Underride accidents usually occur when a truck driver suddenly slows down or stops, causing a motorist to rear-end the trailer and slide underneath. The top part of the car may be crushed or torn off when the vehicle passes under the trailer.
- Blowouts – While a tire blowout can occur on any vehicle, large trucks frequently experience blowouts because of the amount of wear and tear they put on their tires. Truck tires are also large, so the debris created by a blowout can lead to collisions.
- Sideswipe collisions – Large trucks have more blind spots than passenger vehicles. If a truck driver doesn’t check their blind spots, they might change lanes without realizing that the lane is already occupied by another vehicle.
Regardless of the type of truck accident that led to your injury, you can pursue compensation if the truck driver or operator caused it.
Do Truck Drivers Cause More Accidents?
Whether they cause more crashes or not, truck driver accidents are usually more devastating than passenger car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 5,000 people died in trucking accidents in a recent year. Of those truck accident fatalities, 71 percent were occupants of other vehicles.
While truck accidents make up a relatively small percentage of traffic accidents, they result in larger percentages of fatalities. Ten percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes were large trucks. The NHTSA also found that more of the large truck drivers involved in these accidents were in prior accidents than drivers of other vehicles. They are also more likely to be involved in multi-vehicle accidents.
How Can Truck Accidents Be Prevented?
Many truck driver accidents are caused by the driver’s negligence. However, there are other parties that could also share fault, including the trucking company and cargo loaders.
Truck drivers can prevent accidents by avoiding distractions while driving, not driving impaired or fatigued, thoroughly checking blind spots, and obeying all traffic laws and signage. Truck drivers must also abide by the FMSCA’s hours of service regulations. They are designed to prevent driver fatigue and limit accidents.
While it’s always a good idea to practice defensive driving, it is especially important to exercise caution when driving around large trucks. As a motorist, you can help avoid truck crashes by:
- Leaving plenty of space between your vehicle and any nearby trucks
- Doing your best to stay out of a truck’s blind spots
- Never cutting in front of a large truck when switching lanes
- Passing trucks as quickly as possible when needed
- Not getting distracted when driving around large trucks
Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer at Derek L. Hall, PC Today
If you were injured in a truck crash that wasn’t your fault, contact Derek L. Hall, PC today. Our Mississippi truck accident lawyers can help you file a claim, gather evidence to support your case, document your losses, and vigorously pursue the compensation you deserve. Reach out today for a free case review.