Truck accidents are some of the worst collisions on the roads in Georgia. Collisions are usually caused by negligent truck drivers, trucking companies that take shortcuts, and careless truck manufacturers. This negligence can take many forms, including distracted driving, improper hiring or training practices, and the use of defective parts on trucks.
While there is more than one type of truck accident, they all have one similarity. They hurt innocent people and leave them with serious injuries that have long-lasting consequences.
Below, our truck accident lawyer outlines the five most common types of truck accidents in Georgia, and how you can receive compensation that can help offset the costs of your injuries.
If you were injured in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the attorneys at MG Law today for a free consultation.
A jackknife truck accident occurs when the trailer of a truck swings outward and ends up perpendicular to the truck. Jackknife accidents get their name from the angle formed by the position of the trailer and the tractor.
Usually, this type of truck accident is a result of the truck driver braking too quickly. Some of the most common causes of jackknife accidents are as follows:
- Slick roads: When the roads are wet, it is harder for truckers to control their vehicle, so a jackknife accident may occur.
- Speeding: Even increasing a truck’s speed by ten miles per hour is enough to cause a jackknife accident.
- Poor lighting conditions: It is harder for drivers to see in poor lighting conditions. They may not notice debris or other vehicles on the road in time, causing them to slam on the brakes and jackknife their truck.
- Curved roadways: Curvy roadways are more difficult to maneuver than roads that are straight and so, a jackknife accident is more likely to happen.
- Combination trucks: The longer a truck is, the harder it is to control. Combination trucks or trucks that have two trailers attached are much more likely to jackknife than a truck with a single trailer.
Even though some of the above conditions make it more difficult for truck drivers, they are still responsible for knowing how to control their vehicles in adverse conditions.
Rear-End Truck Accidents
When a rear-end accident involves only two passenger vehicles, they are often considered minor. Rear-end accidents that involve a commercial truck are catastrophic.
Commercial trucks are far bigger and much heavier than the other vehicles they share the road with. When a truck rear-ends another vehicle, the front of the truck can crush the back of the vehicle they ran into. Rear-end accidents that involve a truck are often fatal for those in the smaller vehicle.
There are also many common causes of rear-end truck accidents and they are as follows:
- Following too closely
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Improper lane changes
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Improperly loaded cargo on a truck causes several problems. If cargo is not loaded properly, it can fall off of, or out of, the truck.
When the cargo contains items such as food or lumber, this situation is dangerous enough. When the cargo is dangerous or toxic, such as fuel, it can explode or cause a fire that results in catastrophic injuries.
In other instances, if cargo is not loaded properly, it may not fall off the truck, but it can still shift during transport. This can be enough to throw the entire truck off balance, making it even more difficult for the truck driver to control their vehicle.
Both state law and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act require truckers to fully inspect their loads to make sure all of the cargo is secure before they head out onto the roads. Although cargo loaders can be held liable for improperly loaded cargo, so too, can truck drivers.
Wide-Turn Tractor Trailer Accidents
Some of the most dangerous times for a truck on the road is when the truck driver is making a turn. Trucks need much more space to make a turn than other vehicles and that can put other motorists on the road in harm’s way. Making turns is so dangerous that many laws have been enacted to make them safer. These laws are found in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the Commercial Driver’s License Manual.
Under the law, truck drivers should not move left before making a right turn. Doing so could cause other motorists to become trapped on the right side of the truck.
When this happens and the truck continues to make the turn, the vehicle trapped between the curb and the truck can easily become crushed, which is often fatal. Instead, truck drivers should remain in their lane when making a turn and move into the far lane of the road it is turning onto.
Truck drivers should also make sure they have enough clearance before making a left turn. Clearance refers to the distance in front of them in which there are no vehicles. Truck drivers should look 12 to 15 seconds ahead of them to ensure they will not cause a crash when making a left turn because they move slower than other vehicles.
Underride accidents occur when the front of a smaller vehicle travels underneath the rear or side of a truck. These collisions usually happen because a truck driver slams on the brakes suddenly or improperly changes lanes.
Currently, federal law only requires underride guards on the backs of trucks, meaning that side underride accidents can still happen. Truck drivers, trucking companies, and truck owners are also often looking for shortcuts to save them money, so they fail to install underride guards at all.
Our Truck Accident Lawyers in Georgia Can Help After Any Type of Crash
Regardless of the type of crash you have been involved in, our Georgia truck accident lawyers at MG Law can help you claim the full financial compensation you are entitled to. Call us today at 770-988-5252 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys and to obtain the sound legal advice you need.