Across all the states, Texas sees the highest share of truck accidents. In 2021, there were 38,149 crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle. 513 of those crashes were fatal, resulting in 705 people killed. This is partly due to the high amount of trucks present on the roads compared to other states, to support Texas’ robust manufacturing industry. Here are five types of truck accidents to look out for when you’re driving in Texas.
These are the most common type of accidents, simply due to the way trucks are built. Every car has a blind spot that the driver can’t directly see when they’re behind the wheel. Because trucks are bigger, their blind spots are also bigger and more significant. These blindspots are usually on both sides of the rig, the back of the trailer, and the immediate front of the trailer.
Vehicles located in these blind spots can go unnoticed by the driver, leading to blindspot collisions when the truck driver makes maneuvers based on their reduced visibility. While truck drivers have a responsibility to check their blindspots, other drivers on the road should also be mindful and avoid staying in those areas.
Underride accidents can be incredibly deadly. They happen when a smaller vehicle rear-ends a truck or collides with the side of a truck, and ends up sliding underneath. They can be caused by a truck stopping quickly and suddenly or a truck failing to correctly signal a turn. Underride collisions can also happen when a truck has inconsistent speed and a smaller vehicle is in its blind spot when changing lanes.
These accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities, as the top and front of the smaller car can be crushed. To prevent these accidents, the National Transportation Board recommends underride guards, which are metal barriers that prevent cars from sliding under trucks.
Rollover accidents also have a high probability of being fatal. These accidents can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as:
- Speeding, especially when turning
- Incorrectly-loaded cargo (e.g. unsecured cargo or overloaded trailer)
- Failure to navigate weather and road conditions
- Tire blowouts
- Improper navigation around sharp curves and corners
These situations can cause a driver to lose control of their truck, which can cause it to roll over. Most big rigs won’t roll over fully, but can still tip onto their side.
Big trucks have two main parts: the cab (or tractor), where the driver sits, and the trailer, where the cargo sits. They’re connected with a hitch between them. When the brakes on either the cab or the trailer lock up sooner or harder than the other, it causes a jackknife accident. The name comes from the 90-degree angle formed by the cab and trailer when they skid in different directions, similar to the shape of a jackknife.
Common causes of jackknife accidents are improper brake adjustment or maintenance, aggressive braking, and using brakes in bad weather. These accidents can be dangerous as the truck will be virtually uncontrollable and can collide with other vehicles.
Due to the size and weight of trucks, they require at least five to six seconds of additional time to stop compared to smaller vehicles. When a truck driver goes too fast for bad road conditions, follows other vehicles too closely, or is distracted while driving, they might not be able to react and avoid sudden road hazards.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Consult Skilled Texas Truck Accidents Lawyers
Truck accidents tend to be more complicated than car accidents, due to federal regulations around trucks and the complications of ownership. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’ll want experienced Texas truck accidents lawyers on your side — we can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us today for a free case evaluation!