Types and Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents

Truck Accident Lawyer

The good news is that tractor-trailer accidents are among the motor vehicle accidents that occur the least often. The bad news is that when large truck accidents do happen, they can result in extensive property damage and devastating injuries. Understanding the types of tractor-trailer accidents that can occur, as well as the causes that are often behind them, may help you to avoid a collision.

Types of Tractor-Trailer Accidents

Some types of tractor-trailer accidents can also occur among smaller passenger vehicles as well. Examples include head-on, rear-end, and T-bone collisions. However, because of the size, shape, and function of a tractor-trailer, some unique types of accidents can also happen.

  • Under Ride: A small vehicle becomes lodged under the trailer when approaching from behind after a quick stop by the tractor.
  • Wide Turn: The tractor-trailer driver squeezes cars between the truck and sidewalk when swinging left to make a right turn.
  • Jackknife: The trailer skids outward in a 90-degree angle to the front cab when the driver brakes hard and fast.

Causes of Tractor-Trailer Accidents

A collision between a tractor-trailer and another vehicle may occur due to a number of different circumstances, more than one of which may occur at the same time.

  1.  Drugs and/or Alcohol

Substance use is a leading cause of tractor-trailer accidents according to some studies. Even taking prescription drugs before getting behind the wheel can result in driver impairment.

  1.  Load/Weight Issues 

It’s not only the truck itself that can pose a hazard, it is the load the tractor-trailer is hauling. Truck loading is regulated by strict loading procedures and weight limits, but improperly loaded cargo can cause danger to passing motorists by falling out.

  1.  Speeding

Speeding is never safe, but the size and weight of the vehicle can make it even more dangerous in a tractor-trailer. Nevertheless, truck drivers may be tempted to speed due to the pressure of having a particular timeframe in which to reach their destination.

  1.  Aggressive Driving

Either truck drivers or operators of other vehicles can engage in aggressive maneuvering. It is not unusual to see a truck accident caused by another driver following too closely or weaving in and out of traffic.

  1.  Driver Fatigue

To meet tight shipping deadlines, truck drivers are often required to spend many hours on the road in continuous succession. As many as 40% of all U.S. tractor-trailer accidents could result from driver fatigue, according to National Transportation Safety Board estimates.

A truck driver is not automatically at fault for a tractor-trailer accident. Nevertheless, to operate such huge and powerful vehicles is to take on a great responsibility. A Philadelphia truck accident lawyer can evaluate your case and inform you of your options. Contact a law office today.



Thanks to Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into personal injury claims and types of truck accidents.