A rollover accident takes place when the wheels of a vehicle lose contact with the road surface, causing it to overturn onto its side or even upside down. While this type of accident can happen to any vehicle, large trucks have a higher tendency of rolling over, mainly because of their huge size, considerable length, and sheer weight. When a truck tips over, the results can be devastating not only for the trucker, but also for other smaller vehicles sharing the road.
1. Behavior of the Truck Driver
Some truck rollover accidents are related to the behavior of the person behind the wheel. Poor driving skills, like braking heavily, and accelerating too quickly, can lead to an accident. Speeding is another reason of truck rollover accidents. When the driver is speeding or going too fast for weather and road conditions, like rainy weather with slippery roads, there is a high chance of the driver losing control over the truck. Other driver behaviors that can cause a rollover include impairment, distracted driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, fatigue, and other careless actions.
2. Improper Cargo Loading
A carelessly loaded truck has a high chance of tipping over. If the cargo has been loaded unevenly and not secured properly, it can move about in the trailer during the commute, shifting the center of gravity to either side. Abrupt changes in weight distribution increases the probability of a rollover, especially around the turns and corners.
3. Sudden Changes in Steering
Truck drivers are generally experienced and skilled enough to effectively cope with sudden changes in the surroundings to avoid hazards and accidents. Unfortunately, making sudden steering movements can result in the driver losing control mainly because of truck’s large length, weight, and height. Moreover, quick steering to avoid crashing into an obstacle or another vehicle may also shift the center of gravity of the truck, causing it to overturn.
4. Road Conditions
While slippery road conditions are dangerous for any vehicle, they pose a serious threat to trucks because of the increased probability of hydroplaning. It is a phenomenon where the wheels of a vehicle are no longer in contact with the road and slide across the water. In icy road conditions, black ice and snow significantly decrease traction, which may cause a large truck to become unstable and rollover.
5. Truck Maintenance
A preventable cause of rollover accidents is improper maintenance of the truck. It is the responsibility of the trucking company to make sure that all their trucks are regularly maintained and inspected for any potential mechanical problems before they hit the road. Worn out brakes, low tire pressure, structural rust, damaged lights, improper vehicle fluids, and defective steering are some contributing factors in truck rollover accidents.
Most causes of rollover accidents are preventable if both the trucking company and driver take proper safety measures and carry out regular maintenance. Truck drivers should adhere to speed limits, adjust to changing road or weather conditions, limit distractions, and reduce speed on turns to decrease the chances of rollover. Taking preventative measures could result in saving hundreds of lives that are lost in fatal accidents every year.
If you or your loved one has been injured as a result of a negligent trucking accident, you may be entitled compensation. Contact a truck accident lawyer near you, today.