Best Law Firms 2023
Best Law Firms 2022
The Best Lawyers in America
Rated by Super Lawyers
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Best Law Firms, Ranked by BestLawyers - United States 2024
AV Preeminent
Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2022
Best Lawyers Anderson Blanda & Saltzman 2022
Best Law Firms 2020
Best Lawyers Anderson Blanda & Saltzman 2024
10 Best Attorney

What are the Leading Causes of Big Rig and Truck Related Accidents?

Big Rig and Truck Related Accidents The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) estimates that approximately 3,000 motorists are killed every year on U.S. roads and highways specifically due to an accident involving a large truck. The USDOT defines a large truck as any vehicle weighing 10,000 pounds or more, or any vehicle (like a bus) designed to carry 15 or more passengers. There are many factors involved in large truck accidents, and a familiarity with the leading causes of large truck accidents could help you avoid winding up in a wreck of your own. The following list details the most common causes of large truck accidents, as reported and compiled by the USDOT and other fact-gathering organizations.

The T-Bone

One of the most dangerous and most common kinds of large truck accidents is the "T-bone." A T-bone happens when a vehicle is crossing an intersection and is struck from the side by a truck running perpendicular to them as it attempts to pass through the same intersection. T-bones are particularly common in large truck wrecks because most 18-wheelers and other semi-trucks ride much higher up than their smaller victims. Because truck drivers are, at times, unable to see these smaller sedans and coups, they are more likely to run into them.

Lost Load Accidents

Most large vehicle accidents involve tractor-trailer type semi-trucks. Because a semi is actually two different vehicles lashed together, different physics come into play when operating these two-piece automobiles. Improperly stored freight can cause an attached trailer to become unbalanced and difficult to control. Such unbalanced trailers can swing wide during turns or skid dangerously into other lanes when the truck merges. Furthermore, trailers that break loose due to being improperly secured to their haulers can cause serious, multiple-vehicle accidents. Another related issue is when the doors on a loaded trailer or the back gate on an open-air trailer accidentally comes open. Loose merchandise can fly from the back of the unsecured trailer at high rates of speed, distracting drivers and injuring people on the road behind it.

Slick Roads and Heavy Loads

Inclement weather is a common factor in many automobile accidents, but it presents a particular problem for tractor-trailer operators. Big rigs, as the name implies, are significantly larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road—even when travelling with empty or lightly loaded trailers. This difference in weight can often cause a large truck to have difficulty slowing down. A large truck that slows too quickly can "jack knife," forcing the trailer and cab to turn against one another and potentially blocking the entire roadway. This problem can be exacerbated by wet or snowy road conditions. Large commercial semi-trucks require an estimated 40 percent more space in which to come to a complete stop than the average car. So if the average car needs two car lengths in which to come to a complete stop, a large truck will need at least three. These differences in handling present problems not only for the drivers of large trucks, but also for the folks they share the roads with—who tend to be drivers who are unfamiliar with how tractor-trailers handle and who struggle to maneuver around them safely.

Other Causes of Large Truck Accidents

About 10 percent of all large truck accidents happen because of driver fatigue. Interestingly, this is not the leading cause of truck accidents. Drugs and alcohol also play a significant factor, and more than 20 percent of large truck operators implicated in a wreck fail post-accident drug screening. Another common cause of truck accidents is simple confusion. Unfamiliarity with the stretch of road on which the accident occurs was cited in 22 percent of all cases in which a driver lost control of their big rig.

Further, many other issues concerning blind spots, maneuverability and a general fear of travelling next to large vehicles may all play a role in causing cars to initiate contact with a big truck. Many times while the truck in question may not have started the accident, a completely unrelated accident somewhere further up the road can cause a large truck to react quickly and poorly, thus endangering other uninvolved motorists.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a large truck accident, contact the personal injury and truck accident experts at Anderson Blanda & Saltzman for a thorough evaluation of your case today.

Client Reviews
Finding yourself in the middle of a personal injury case is not a pleasant experience. I could not have been more blessed than to have Mr. Boyd Anderson represent me in that difficult time. He treated me and my family with respect and earned my complete trust. Mr. Anderson is an extremely skilled attorney and did an exceptional job with my case. His support staff, Tammy and Donna, are also amazing to work with. They are very thorough and took care of every detail, so that I could concentrate on healing. I would not hesitate for a second to recommend Boyd Anderson to family and friends. Angie T.
Boyd Anderson, along with his associates and staff always keep you in the know. He is very personable, offers great advise and he saw my suit to the end personally. It’s very rare that an attorney personally responds back to emails and calls. Not to mention the accolades, experience and expertise is top notch and really impressive. I would definitely recommend this firm to anybody if they are serious about winning. This firm gets the job done and exceeds expectations. Shantele J.
With the plethora of advertisements one sees nowdays, it's difficult to discern just who is best qualified to represent you if you need legal assistance. An overabundance of tv commercials does not necessarily point one in the correct direction. When I needed help, I choose Boyd Anderson and his firm. Best decision I ever made. Superlative service throughout the legal process...and I very much appreciated the prompt attention to details I suspect other firms would have probably overlooked. Anderson's team and experience made a huge difference in my exceptional group of professionals...for sure. Paulette P.