Semi-Truck Accidents and the Risks for Rollovers

21716(2)There is a natural fear among a subset of drivers when they come across the path of a large semi-truck. Some are filled with dread or even experience anxiety by merely driving near a truck, passing a truck, or having a truck operate in an adjacent lane. When asked about these concerns, drivers regularly say that the large size and weight of a semi-truck makes them realize they are at an increased risk for harm when a collision occurs in the Phoenix area and therefore trucks make them nervous.

This belief is understandable, particularly when you realize that national data supports the fact that drivers and passengers in traditional cars face the brunt of the risk of harm during a truck accident.

Many risks can arise when a truck and a car collide, when a truck strikes a fixed object, or when two or more trucks are involved in a collision. Among the most significant of the risks is a rollover, or an event where at least one vehicle involved leaves the ground and rolls onto its side or roof. Rollover crashes are more likely to cause injuries than many other forms of accidents and are more likely to cause a victim to become trapped inside a car, necessitating emergency rescue efforts to free that victim.

In 2012, there were approximately 317,000 accidents involving large trucks in the United States, according to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration. In these collisions, a rollover incident was the first part of roughly five percent of all fatal accidents and three percent of all fatal accidents, but in addition to those crashes, rollovers happened in many more instances as a secondary, tertiary, or later result from an impact.

Why are rollovers so prevalent when it comes to semi-truck accidents in Arizona? First, semi-trucks are heavier than passenger vehicles which means that they need a greater distance to slow or stop than a typical car. If a semi-truck is forced to brake forcefully and with little warning, that semi may not stop in time to avoid a collision, and some semi drivers may be forced to take evasive actions as a result. Steering away from a roadway hazard or jerking the wheel to one side or another significantly increases the risks of a rollover taking place as the sudden shift in momentum of the truck can lead to a loss of a center of gravity, causing a trailer to roll. Secondly, the tires on semi-trucks often experience greater wear and are used for longer lives than tires on other cars. Poorly maintained tires or those with inadequate tread depth are more likely to blow out, leading to a situation where a driver may lose control and a vehicle may roll. Third, trucks with improperly loaded cargo may experience a sudden shift in weight distribution within their trailers, and this sudden shift often causes a trailer and a cab to roll and end in a collision.

Regardless of why a truck rolled over, it you were involved in a truck accident in Maricopa County and you were hurt, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages. The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. want to help you realize your legal options by providing you with a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation when you call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191. We have a lawyer available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to take your call and to speak with you so please do not hesitate to reach us now.

If your life has been affected by tragedy, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us fight for the relief you deserve.

Prior Blog Entry:

Tips for Driving After Dark in Phoenix, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published February 16, 2016.

Resource:

Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2012, Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, published July 18, 2014.