trucks on the highway

Common Types of Trucking Accidents

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

California hosts some of the busiest roadways in the nation. A prime travel and trade state, California roads are congested with commuter, leisure, and commercial drivers. 

Fast-paced and heavy traffic demand more focused attention from drivers. While all drivers make mistakes, commercial trucks add a different risk element for California drivers.

California trucking accident attorneys urge drivers to educate themselves on the common types of trucking accidents. Increased awareness of factors contributing to big-rig accidents may help drivers reduce exposure to trucking accidents. 

6 Common Types of Trucking Accidents

  1. Blindspot – Every vehicle has areas known as blindspots or sections where a driver cannot see objects or vehicles. In big-rigs, the blind spot is much larger than in smaller vehicles.
  2. Underride – Underride accidents are among the most deadly accidents involving semi-trucks. When a semi-truck brakes suddenly and the car following cannot stop in time, the car slides under the semi-truck, often ripping off the smaller vehicle’s top.  
  3. Jackknife – A jackknife accident occurs when a dual-axle truck brakes suddenly, causing the brakes to lock and the tractor-trailer to form a 90-degree angle.  This often leads to the big-rig drifting into other traffic lanes, skidding off the road, or ending in a rollover accident.  
  4. Rollover – Rollover accidents happen when a truck tips over due to one or more reasons, including speeding, turning too sharply, catching a curb, or carrying an unstable high load. 
  5. Rear-end – Rear ends occur when truck drivers fail to allow safe braking distance and cannot avoid hitting or running over the vehicle in front of them. 
  6. Truck Driver DUI – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal for all motorists.  However, it is not uncommon for big-rig drivers to use substances while driving, particularly if they are long-haul drivers or struggling to meet delivery times.

Share the Road Responsibly

All drivers are responsible for driving sober and undistracted, but drivers really only have control over their own actions. Being aware of the common types of trucking accidents can help drivers of smaller vehicles realize the importance of giving big-rigs greater consideration on the road. 

Semi-trucks Face Certain Limitations That Smaller Vehicles Don’t.  Heavyweight Commercial Rigs:

  • Aren’t able to accelerate or slow down as quickly as smaller vehicles.
  • Aren’t able to see smaller objects, pedestrians, or vehicles as readily as other drivers might.
  • Have a much wider turning radius and are often top-heavy, creating instability in sharp turns and high winds. 
  • Are often under tight delivery schedules, and drivers may be more apt to speed or drive long distances without sleep or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

Drivers of Small Vehicles Are Advised to:

  • Always assume the semi-truck driver can’t see you.
  • Avoid traveling in the blind spot zone.
  • Maintain safe braking distance behind the semi-truck. 
  • Avoid traveling directly next to a big-rig.
  • Take caution yet don’t linger when passing a big-rig.
  • Monitor the driving path of the big-rig, particularly any swerving or drifting by the truck.

Can a California Trucking Accident Attorney Help You?

Trucking accidents can lead to serious, life-altering injuries, and often result in death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a California big-rig or commercial truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury or loss. 

It’s essential that you work with a California trucking accident attorney experienced in representing injury victims against commercial trucking companies and their insurance companies.  

Contact our office today to discuss your truck accident crash with one of our qualified truck accident attorneys.  While you focus on healing and recovery, we will work diligently to represent your interest and get you the compensation you deserve. 

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.