The Most Common Types of Trucks Involved in Accidents

Find out which types of trucks are commonly involved in accidents by contacting The Dressie Law Firm. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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Accidents Are More Common in Certain Types of Trucks

In Georgia, motor vehicle crashes were the second leading cause of injury deaths of adults in 2020, according to a report by the Georgia Department of Public Health. Quite a number of those fatal injuries were a result of truck accidents. 

Due to their significant weight, trucking accidents are devastating. However, some trucks are more dangerous and prone to serious crashes than others based on size, handling, controls, and cargo type.

Essentially, larger trucks with more than one part are often at higher risk of traffic accidents. Tankers hauling hazardous materials are significantly more dangerous, as an accident involving a tanker can quickly turn into a chain of catastrophic accidents.

If you have been involved in an accident involving a commercial truck of any type or size, contact us at Dressie Law Firm. Our attorneys have handled many truck accident cases and recovered millions for our clients. We can help you get fair compensation.

In the meantime, read on to learn more about the most common types of trucks involved in accidents.

    The Different Types of Trucks and Their Risks

    Although truck accidents are often caused by driver or company negligence regardless of truck type, some trucks are more dangerous than others and more likely to be involved. Here is a list of trucks most often involved in accidents:

    Semi-Trucks

    Also known as tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers, semi-trucks are large commercial trucks composed of two or more parts. These trucks haul hundreds of thousands of pounds of loads in North America. Their optimal performance and easy handling make them an ideal choice for long-distance transportation. However, they have some weaknesses, making them prone to accidents.

    What percentage of accidents are caused by semi-trucks? Semi-trucks account for most large truck crashes, as they are the most common truck type on the road. Due to their higher center of gravity, these trucks are easy to roll over. A truck rollover accident is more likely to occur when they’re hauling heavy loads or overspeeding. 

    Semi-truck rollover accidents can damage the transported cargo and crash other vehicles or pedestrians on the road. If the transported cargo is explosive, the accident can be disastrous on a large scale.

    Their weight also gives them a longer stopping distance, making them prone to rear-end truck accidents. Poor wheel and braking system maintenance could increase the braking distance. 

    Semi-trucks require regular maintenance and checks to keep them in optimal conditions. If a company or driver neglects this, it could result in brake failures, tire blowouts, and other mechanical malfunctions that can cause accidents.

    Box Trucks

    Box trucks might be lighter than semi-trucks but are heavier than passenger vehicles. They’re mainly used for local and regional deliveries. Many truck drivers love them as they’re lighter, have shorter stopping distances, and are easier to handle. However, box trucks are also prone to accidents. 

    They’re more vulnerable when turning and in intersections. Box truck accidents are often involved in common types of truck accidents, including rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, fender-benders, cargo shifts, wide turns, and backing accidents. 

    Box trucks are smaller in size and weight than semis and wouldn’t cause as much damage. Their shorter stopping distance also reduces the risks of rear-end collisions. Box trucks also have smaller blindspots compared to semis.

    Tanker Trucks

    Tankers are large trucks that transport liquids and gases, including gasoline and chemicals, that are primarily hazardous. They have cylindrical tanks attached to them and vary in size depending on the type of liquid they are transporting.

    Any content spilling could cause catastrophic results. Liquid chemicals, like acids, solvents, or industrial substances, are known to be corrosive and could cause significant damage to people and properties. They could result in severe burns from direct skin contact or respiratory issues from inhaling the fumes. 

    When these trucks are involved in accidents, the aftermath can be catastrophic. The spilled contents could cause significant damage to the environment and property, putting nearby communities at risk. Moreover, tanker accidents can quickly escalate into a chain of accidents as other vehicles on the road may be unable to avoid the spillage.

    Flatbeds

    Flatbeds are among the most dangerous trucks on the road. They are known for their roofless and open cargo bed. Flatbeds transport heavy equipment like machinery that could tilt and fall if not secured firmly.

    The biggest threat from a flatbed is the load falling over. However, risks such as spillage and debris shouldn’t be underestimated. Some debris might be big enough to block passenger vehicles behind the truck, triggering a chain of accidents.

    Projectiles from the load could also become a problem, especially when the truck is braking. These projectiles travel quickly and with a lot of force and could lead to an accident, especially when they hit the windscreens of other vehicles.

    Read more about this in our truck accident FAQ section.

    Determining Liability for Truck Accidents

    Liability for a truck accident may vary depending on the facts of the accidents. However, truck drivers, trucking companies, and, to some extent, truck manufacturers are often the liable parties.

    • Drivers: They’re liable if and when proven to be at fault. Actions like reckless driving, overspeeding, and fatigue are enough to make the truck driver liable for the accident.

    • Trucking Company: Trucking companies are held liable for their drivers’ actions. The companies are legally obligated to hire and train the right commercial truck drivers. They should conduct a background check on all drivers to determine their qualifications. Poor truck maintenance is another cause that holds the truck company liable for an accident. 

    • Manufacturing Companies: The manufacturer of the truck or specific truck parts can be liable if manufacturing defects cause an accident. For instance, the manufacturer can be liable if a faulty brake system causes an accident.

    Sometimes, the victim is also found to be partially at fault if they negligently contributed to the accident. In such cases, the compensation amount may be reduced depending on the percentage of fault attributed to them.  

    Following a truck accident, victims can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company for compensatory damages. Here is a rundown of these damages:

    • Medical Expenses: These are usually related to hospital and healthcare expenses, such as surgeries, therapy, rehabilitation, and prescriptions. 

    • Property Damages: This is compensation for replacing or repairing a damaged property, such as a passenger vehicle or other property. 

    • Pain and Suffering: These damages could cover the emotional distress and physical pain the victim experienced after the accident. 

    • Lost Wages and Earnings: When recovering from the accident, victims can sue for all income-related damages, such as lost wages or loss of earning ability. 

    • Disability: Victims may claim damages for disability from an accident.

    The value of these damages depends on the severity of the injuries and losses sustained by the victim and their percentage of fault. In Georgia, a victim’s compensation is reduced by the percentage of their fault. However, if a victim’s fault is determined to be more than 50%, they cannot claim any compensation.

    Your truck accident lawyer will help you estimate your damages and put up a good fight to recover them in full.

    Preventing Truck Accidents

    Truck accidents can have severe consequences, making it essential to prevent them as much as possible. Here are some tips for preventing truck accidents:

    • Regular maintenance and inspections: This ensures that trucks are in optimal condition for safe operation. Trucking companies should conduct regular maintenance and inspections to identify and fix any potential issues before they cause accidents.

    • Driver training and screening: Trucking companies should invest time and resources in hiring qualified drivers with proper training. They should also provide ongoing training for their drivers to keep them up-to-date with safety measures.

    • Strict Hours of Service (HOS) regulations: Fatigue is a common cause of truck accidents. Strict enforcement of HOS regulations ensures that drivers get enough rest between shifts, reducing the risk of fatigue-related accidents.

    • Proper loading and securing of cargo: Flatbeds and tanker trucks must have their loads properly secured to prevent them from shifting or falling while in transit. Proper loading procedures should be followed to reduce the risk of accidents caused by unsecured cargo.

    These are just a few measures that can help prevent truck accidents. All parties involved in the trucking industry must prioritize safety and take necessary precautions to avoid potential accidents.

    Why Choosing Dressie Law Firm for Truck Accident Representation Is the Right Decision

    Truck accidents are devastating, with many victims left scarred for a long time. Some of today’s most dangerous trucks are semi-trucks, trailers, and tankers. Their sheer size and the dangerous cargo they carry lead to severe injuries and death. Box trucks also pose a risk of equally dangerous collisions. 

    If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, contact Dressie Law Firm today for a free consultation with an experienced Atlanta truck accident attorney. Our truck accident attorneys have the necessary skills and experience to get you the justice you deserve.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!