Accidents happen on the road but some of the worst accidents involve the big rig tractor trailers. No matter if it only involves the rig or if it also has other vehicles involved, the size of the rig causes major damage.
Common Causes of Big Rig Accidents:
When you are talking about tractor trailer accidents, they are typically caused by one of four conditions.
● Engine Breakdown: Trucks are legally required to pull to the side of the road when they have something go wrong mechanically. So when the tractor-trailer’s engine fails, they have to move the truck safely to the side of the road. Once they are stopped on the side of the road they are supposed to set flares at the end of the truck to warn oncoming drivers of the location of the rig while they are stalled.
● Tire Failures: The most common cause of a tractor-trailer accident is tire failure. Since big trucks are on the go constantly, there is a lot of wear and tear on the tires. When a tire does blow out it can be dangerous not only for the driver but the cars around the truck as well. When the tire goes out it shifts the center of gravity for the truck, making it easier to tip over. The driver only has a few seconds to try to keep control of the truck and make it safely to the shoulder of the road. If the driver doesn’t get control, the load can shift which will cause the truck to crash which could endanger the other vehicles near the truck.
● Lighting system issues: At night the lighting system helps other drivers know that there is a big rig ahead of them. If there is a problem with the lighting system other drivers may not know the truck is there until the are too close. This could lead to an accident if the car is not able to slow down in time or has to swerve to miss the truck.
● Brake failure: The brake system on a tractor-trailer is a complicated system and has to be checked regularly. Since trucks go across the country, they have to deal with going down steep inclines and other brake-use heavy areas. Should the brakes fail, the drive doesn’t have control over stopping the truck which could cause a serious accident. Some steep areas, such as coming down high mountains, have brake stop areas for trucks whose brakes have overheated and stopped working. They are mounds of sand designed to catch and stop the trucks. In these areas, this is the safest way for a truck to stop when then the brakes fail.
Truck accidents because of these causes and more but each accident is different. There are different types of accidents that can happen to a truck that can endanger the cars around it. Here are the four most common types of big rig accidents.
● Cars driving in the “No Zone”. Tractor-trailer may have large side mirrors but they still have some pretty big blind spots. These are bigger than what a normal passenger vehicle would have and are known as the “no zone.” Cars that drive in this area can’t be seen by the driver and run a large risk of getting hit by the truck.
● Turning accidents: Since big rigs are so much larger than a typical car, they require more space to execute a turn, especially a right turn. Most trucks will need an additional lane to make a right turn and will take up two lanes to do so. If cars move into the lane before the truck has a chance to turn, it is likely the car will be hit if it is not able to move out of the trucks way. Always pay attention to what a truck is doing when turning and don’t be impatient and move to the other lane unless moving will give the truck more room.
● Jackknifing: Tractor-trailers are made of two different parts, that cab, and the trailer. Jackknifing happens when the truck makes a turn that is too sharp and the cab turns and hits the front edge of the trailer. This causes the trailer and cab to fold in on itself and then the trailer will swing out hitting anything in its path.
● Rollovers: Big rigs are taller and therefore have a much higher center of gravity than a normal passenger car. This makes them more susceptible to tipping or rolling over, especially when they are making a turn. The faster or shaper the turn, the more chance the truck has of rolling over and crushing anything near it.
The best way to avoid being caught in any of these types of accidents is to stay alert and to give trucks plenty of room. Should you see any of these situations, you need to give yourself time to stop or get out of the way. Sometimes this isn’t possible and you may find yourself caught in a tractor-trailer accident. If that happens you need someone like the law office of Micheal R. Braun to help. He can get you the help you need for any medical bill or expenses caused by the accident.