Wilmington Truck Accidents: Three Serious Types of Collisions
Trucks can get into front, rear, and side-impact crashes just like any other cars can. There are, however, certain types of truck accidents in North Carolina that can only happen to trucks or that are significantly more likely to involve trucks. These accidents can be deadly for truckers, as well as for motorists in passenger vehicles who are involved in the crashes.
Three Serious Types of Truck Accidents
Three of the most common types of accidents that only or primarily affect trucks include rollover accidents, underride accidents, and jackknife accidents. Truck drivers have to be aware of these kinds of collisions, as well as their common causes, so drivers can avoid doing things that increase the risk of one of these serious accidents.
Rollover accidents usually happen when a trucker loses control of a truck. This is especially likely to occur as a truck goes around a curve, when centrifugal force causes the truck to naturally lean away from the curve. If a driver takes the curve too fast, the truck can end up tipping right over. Trucks are more likely than cars to rollover because trucks have a high center of gravity and are top-heavy. The risk is even graver if there is an unbalanced load. A paper from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated an estimated 18 percent of truck accidents involved trucks rolling over and around 35 percent of fatal truck crashes involved rollovers.
Underride accidents usually happen when a car hits the back of a truck and the vehicle goes partly under the truck. A vehicle can also be partly forced under the body of a truck from the side. The top way to prevent underride accidents is through using proper underride guards. Unfortunately, many underride guards don't work optimally and accidents keep happening. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported on a large truck causation study involving 1000 trucks. In only 22 percent of the truck accidents involved did no underride occur. Out of the 28 deadly accidents that were a part of the study, 23 involved significant or severe underride.
Finally, jackknife accidents usually happen in situations where a trucker has lost control and the truck begins to skid. Wikihow warns that the trailer behind the tractor can start to skid separately and can spin out sideways. The spinning trailer can hit the tractor and the driver can lose complete control. Drivers need to make sure this doesn't happen by maintaining their brakes and by exercising care in high-risk situations like when going downhill or going around a curve. Truckers should not brake quickly when going downhill, should not decelerate or quickly brake when going around a curve, and should avoid using an engine brake or retarders when traveling on a slippery surface.
If drivers take extra precautions to prevent these three common types of truck accidents, many lives could be saved and many injuries prevented each year.