Most Common Types of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are a significant concern on Virginia’s roads: due to their size and weight, trucks can cause significant damage and injuries in the event of a collision. While each case is unique, there are certain types of accidents that occur more frequently than others every year in Virginia.
In this scenario, understanding the most common types of truck accidents not only raises awareness for people to stay safe on the road but also equips individuals with the necessary knowledge to seek legal help after a truck accident.
Let’s explore what are the most common types of truck accidents in Virginia:
Rear-end accidents are one of the most common types of truck accidents and occur when a truck collides with the vehicle in front of it. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), collision with a vehicle in transport was the first harmful event in over 80% of injury crashes involving large trucks in recent years.
These accidents involving trucks often result in severe damage and injuries, given the momentum, weight, and braking distance of trucks. That’s why it’s essential to pursue legal action if the accident was caused by the other party’s negligence or wrongdoing. Even when insurance companies often try to intimidate trucking accident victims, the truth is you are entitled to receive fair compensation according to the damages you suffered.
Overall, rear-end accidents can happen due to a variety of reasons, but the most common ones include distracted driving, speeding, and following too closely. Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding your case, proving liability and recovering damages afterward will be more or less complex.
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Jackknife accidents, a phenomenon often observed on highways involving large commercial vehicles, are characterized by the truck’s trailer swinging out in a manner that it forms an acute angle with the truck’s cab, reminiscent of the angle a folding pocket knife makes when partially opened. Such incidents, while not frequent, carry with them a heightened risk of severe consequences, particularly due to the substantial size and momentum of the vehicles involved.
The underlying causes of these accidents are multifaceted and can be traced back to a combination of factors. Among these, sudden and forceful application of brakes can lead to the trailer losing its synchronized movement with the cab, thereby causing it to swing out. Roads that are slick due to rain, snow, or ice present a challenging environment where the tires struggle to maintain a firm grip, increasing the likelihood of the trailer skidding and eventually leading to a jackknife situation. Additionally, when vehicles are operated at speeds higher than what is deemed safe for the prevailing road and weather conditions, the chances of the truck losing its stability are amplified.
Rollover accidents are among the deadliest truck accidents because they can cause serious injuries to the driver and passengers of the truck (and even wrongful death). This type of accident happens when a truck tips over onto its side or roof, and can also involve multiple vehicles due to the size of a truck.
Statistics are alarming. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study was a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that reviewed 239 rollover crashes to identify their causes. Almost half of those crashes resulted from five common causes: failing to adjust speed to curves in the road, the nature of the load being carried, the condition of the brakes, the road surface, and intersection conditions.
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Blind Spot Accidents
Blind spot accidents occur when a truck driver cannot see another vehicle, colliding with them. This type of accident happens most often when a vehicle is traveling alongside or behind a truck.
In fact, trucks have larger blind spots than regular vehicles, making them more prone to blind spot accidents. These “no-visibility zones” can indeed lead to severe accidents if other drivers aren’t aware of them.
In this sense, American Trucking Associations emphasizes the importance of being aware of these blind spots to ensure safe driving around trucks. The blind spots of a truck include:
- The area directly behind the truck;
- The area directly in front of the truck;
- And the areas on either side of the truck.
But if sadly you have been involved in this type of accident, we have to mention that proving who was negligent is a true challenge that your lawyer will need to address according to specific circumstances surrounding your case.
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Tire Blowout Accidents
Tire blowout accidents occur when a tire on a truck suddenly bursts, causing the truck driver to lose control. Regular maintenance and tire checks can prevent most blowouts. However, when they do occur, the results can be devastating, and even lead to multi-vehicle accidents.
Tire failure was the most common vehicle-related factor for large trucks in fatal crashes in recent years, according to the FMCSA. Tire blowout accidents can happen due to a variety of reasons, but they are most often caused by overloading, poor maintenance, and manufacturing defects. If this was your case, you might be entitled to compensation to cover the damages caused by a negligent party who failed to provide proper maintenance to a vehicle.
Seeking Legal Help After a Trucking Accident in Virginia
From medical bills to insurance claims, you may feel overwhelmed about what are your options and what steps to take in order to claim for justice. In this scenario, having an experienced local attorney by your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your truck accident case.
Our team of personal injury lawyers can help you through the whole legal process, ensuring your rights are protected, determining who is at fault for the accident, and pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages.
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident in Virginia, don’t hesitate to seek expert legal advice. Contact us today and get a free consultation to evaluate your situation and plan together a strategy to build a strong case.