We help people who are hurt or killed in truck crashes, and these are some of the most common types of crashes that we see.
A head-on crash occurs when a driver moves into oncoming traffic, creating an unavoidable collision with the front of the vehicle.
Example: A semi-truck driver tries to pass another vehicle on a two-lane highway, and strikes an oncoming vehicle head-on.
A driver loses control, and the truck slides and rolls over onto its side. A rollover can also be the result of an equipment or infrastructure failure.
Example: A tractor-trailer driver hauling a heavy load is cut off by another driver just as the roadway starts to curve: the speed, weight, and high center of gravity tip over the trailer. See: Video anatomy of a semi rollover crash
Caused by a driver failing to stop at stop sign, failing to yield the right-of-way, or running a red light, causing an unavoidable collision in the intersection of 2 or more roads.
Example: A commercial truck driver speeds up for a yellow light, thinking he will get into the intersection before the light changes to red. See:A red light crash is no accident
A driver is unable to brake and stop prior to hitting another vehicle or other property; this type of crash may be the result of driver inattention, or of a failure to maintain or check the truck brakes.
Example: A speeding truck driver comes upon stopped traffic and is not able to brake in time to stop the vehicle.
A rear-end crash occurs when a driver fails to stop, and strikes the rear of another vehicle in front of the truck. Rear-end collisions are most common at intersections, but also occur in highway traffic; they can be the result of failed braking.
Example: A heavy truck is traveling too fast to stop for highway traffic, and causes a rear-end crash with the car ahead.
A semi-truck jackknives when the trailer skids towards the truck cab at a 90-degree angle, like a small folding knife. A jackknife crash occurs because either the tires on the truck cab lose traction and the trailer pushes the cab into a fold; or, because the trailer tires lose traction and the trailer swings around onto the cab.
Example: A semi-truck driver with an empty trailer is traveling too fast and tries to brake quickly, causing the light trailer to swing up to the cab.
Wide turn crash
Specific to semi-trucks, a wide-turn crash occurs when the rear-end of the semi-truck trailer runs into another vehicle or a person. Another term for this “off-tracking.”
Example: A semi-truck driver turns left at a 4-way intersection, but fails to account for the wide swing of the trailer, which strikes a pedestrian.