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Seven Common Types of Truck Accidents

August 20, 2021

Seven Common Types of Truck Accidents

A truck accident has the potential to cause devastating property damage and personal injury due to the size of a commercial truck — as much as 80,000 pounds or even more — and the highway speeds that these vehicles can reach. The type of truck accident that occurs can have an effect on what kind of damage or injury results from the crash. Here are seven of the most common kinds of truck accidents that happen in Pennsylvania.

Head-On Collisions

Although rare, head-on truck crashes represent one of the most severe truck accidents, especially when they occur on the highway. Head-on accidents can occur when a truck driver drifts over the centerline or median on a road or highway. This can happen when a truck driver is drowsy or fatigued and experiences sleep or microsleep behind the wheel, becomes distracted by a cell phone or something else, or drives under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions represent a common type of truck accident. This kind of crash happens when a truck driver is speeding, tailgating another vehicle, or is distracted or falls asleep behind the wheel. Truck drivers should give more distance between themselves and the vehicle in front of them than they otherwise might if they were driving a smaller passenger vehicle, due to the size of a commercial truck requiring a longer stopping distance.

Underride Accidents

An underride accident is another type of rear-end accident, but one where another vehicle rear-ends the back of the truck or trailer. Depending on the height of the vehicle rear-ending the truck, that vehicle may end up caught underneath the rear overhang of the truck or trailer. Underride accidents occur when the vehicle behind the truck tailgates the truck and gets caught in the truck driver’s blind spot, or when the driver behind the truck is distracted or fatigued.

Side-Impact Collisions

In a side-impact collision, the side of another vehicle is impacted by a commercial truck. This type of collision can come in several different forms, including:

  • T-bone accident, where the front of the truck collides into the side of another vehicle
  • Sideswipe/broadside accidents, where the side of the truck impacts the side of the other vehicle
  • Angle collisions, where the truck collides into the side of the other vehicle at a sharp angle

While sideswipe collisions most frequently occur on the highway, T-bone and angle collisions often occur at intersections.

Jackknife Accidents

Semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and 18-wheelers come in two parts — the truck cab and the cargo trailer, which are connected at an articulating joint. In a jackknife accident, the trailer swings forward towards the cab, causing the cab and trailer to fold like the blade of a pocket knife. Jackknife accidents are most frequently caused by improper braking, often in heavy rain or wintertime where the wheels of the trailer are more likely to lose traction.

Rollover Accidents

In a rollover accident, a truck falls over on its side, or it may even tumble over. Rollover accidents occur when a truck driver loses control of their vehicle, such as from improper braking or taking a turn or curve at too high a speed.

Cargo Accidents

Truck accidents may also be caused by improperly-loaded cargo, such as the cargo not being properly balanced (e.g. heavier cargo towards the bottom) or the cargo not being properly secured and allowed to shift during travel. This creates circumstances where a truck driver is more likely to lose control of their vehicle. 

Contact a Erie Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Truck Accident Case in Pennsylvania

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a truck accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. represent clients injured because of truck accidents in Millcreek, Harborcreek, Fairview, Meadville, and throughout Pennsylvania. Call (814) 833-7100 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2525 W. 26th St., Erie, P.A. 16506, as well as offices in Meadville and North East.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.