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Jason R. Schultz P.C

Q:
What Are Some of the Common Types of Truck accidents That Can Cause Serious Injury?

A:

Almost everyone knows truck accidents are dangerous; however, there are a few specific types of truck accidents that often cause serious injury. They include:

  • Jackknife accidents
  • Rollover accidents
  • Squeeze play accidents
  • Underride/override accidents
  • Head-on truck crashes

Jackknife Accidents

A large truck can jackknife when it backs up improperly, takes a sharp turn, fish tails, or brakes suddenly. The driver cannot steer because the cab gets caught in an impossible “V” angle with the trailer, similar to a pocket knife that is closing.

As the trailer careens off in a different direction from the tractor, any vehicle in its path is in danger. The truck driver will not be able to control the trailer while it is jackknifing. The trailer might strike a vehicle, crush the vehicle between the trailer and cab, or push the vehicle — and its occupants — into oncoming traffic.

Rollover Truck Accidents

When a large truck takes a curve too fast or jerks the wheel to avoid a wreck, the truck can roll over, landing on its side. If the truck lands on a car, anyone riding inside the vehicle is unlikely to survive.

Squeeze Play Truck Accidents

Tractor trailers need more room to make a right turn than cars do. This means the truck might veer to the left immediately before turning. Sometimes cars will try to slip into the open space and pass the truck as it merges left.

However, when the driver executes his turn, the truck can crush the car in between the side of trailer and the shoulder. This is known as “squeeze play.”

Underride and Override Truck Accidents

An “underride” is when a car slides underneath a truck, either from the rear or the side. An “override” is when a truck slides over the rear of a car. Underride and override accidents are often devastating. The car driver and passengers are frequently decapitated or suffer severe head injuries, as the truck often shears off everything beneath the bumper height of the cab or trailer.

Underrides happen when:

  • The truck brakes suddenly, and a tailgating car does not have enough time or space to stop.
  • A speeding car speeds forward in slow or stopped traffic.
  • A distracted or impaired driver does not notice a truck ahead until it is too late.
  • A car runs a red light into cross traffic, striking the side of the truck and sliding underneath.

Overrides happen when:

  • The truck driver does not have enough time to stop, either from fatigue, distraction, impairment, speeding, or tailgating.
  • A passenger car drivercuts in front of a truck and suddenly stops or slows drastically.

Head-on Truck Crashes

Head-on crashes occur when the front bumpers of both vehicles collide. These crashes are especially deadly for the passenger car driver and passengers as both vehicles are usually traveling at speed. The passenger car will either slide under the front of the cab or slam into the front cab, causing catastrophic or fatal injuries for the occupants.

What Types of Injuries Are Common in Truck Accidents?

While the injuries depend on the specific type of accident, the injuries are often severe because of the size difference between trucks and passenger cars. Common truck accident injuries include:

  • Crushing injuries
  • Decapitations
  • Amputations
  • Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Fatal injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Seat belt and airbag injuries

How Can I Avoid Being in a Truck Accident?

There are quite a few things you can do to avoid a truck accident:

  • Give large trucks a wide berth.
  • Always stay out a truck’s blind spots and never pass a truck on the right. If you see a truck veering left before an intersection, do not attempt to pass the truck. Slow down to ensure you are not in the truck’s blind spot.  
  • Do not tailgate trucks, and do not cut in front of them. Remember that they need far more time and distance than cars do to stop safely. You should always wait to change lanes until you can see the entire cab in your rearview mirror.
  • Always focus on the road around you. Do not drive while intoxicated or fatigued and avoid using your phone whenever around large trucks.

Call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. For Help After an Accident

You should always be careful when sharing the road with large trucks. Unfortunately, this is sometimes not enough. If you or a loved one ever suffer injuries in an accident that was not your fault, contact the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. for help recovering compensation for your injuries: 404-474-0804.

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