Rollover Accidents Involving Trucks

One of the deadliest accidents a motor vehicle can be involved in is a rollover, wherein a vehicle overturns or tips over onto its roof or side. A rollover accident can happen on any vehicle, depending on certain factors or conditions; however, due to the center of their gravity being higher from the ground,
compared to regular cars SUVs, minivans, pickups, and trucks, are much more susceptible to this type of accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover accidents total to more than 280,000 every year, claiming at least 10,000 lives. But while the accident more frequently involves SUVs, the much more serious results (such as severe bodily injuries, death and major damage to properties) get registered if the vehicles involved are trucks.

Aside from the strict federal requirements on knowledge and skills on how to operate a truck safely, drivers are also required to pass certain tests before getting to earn a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also distributes printed publications on how drivers can prevent getting involved in accidents, especially rollovers. All these measures for safety are implemented by the both state and federal governments to help ensure that trucks never become threats to other motorists with whom they share the road.

Sadly, though, the yearly reported number of trucks rolling over is still high – at 239. There are various factors and situations that contribute to a truck rollover accident, but the three major contributors that have been identified are speed, poor control and inattention. FMCSA’s more extensive study about these three showed the specifics that greatly affect each of the contributors:

  • Speed: the load carried by the truck, road surface, condition of the brakes, intersection conditions and ability of the driver to adjust truck speed during road curves
  • Steering or Poor Control: failure to steer enough to maintain lane, over-steering that results to having to counter-steer in order to remain on the road, and over-steering which results to rolling over
  • Inattention: feeling drowsy, falling asleep, and driving distractions – all resulting to inability to react fast enough in emergency situations

A truck’s load also greatly affects its overall stability, especially if its weight is unevenly distributed. This (load) and the contributors only show that, despite the demanding requirements for acquiring a CDL, many truck drivers are yet to learn how to actually handle situations that can lead to a rollover – lessons that many drivers do learn but only after having the misfortune of experiencing the accident first hand.

The trucking industry has a significant positive effect on the nation’s economy. However, being on the road, trucks pose risks of serious injuries to drivers of smaller vehicles in case of an accident. This is why their insurance providers have to be ready for just about anything. The website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® has more information about how these sorts of things ultimately end up working out.

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