Types of Truck Accidents

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A Jacknife occurs when the trailer portion of a truck skids and forms a 90-degree angle to the cab. This term comes from a description of how the blade of a jack knife forms the angle with its protective handle. When a big rig jackknifes, the driver must have assistance from other vehicles to right itself. Moreover, if the rig jackknifes with any speed, the vehicle is likely to roll over. This type of accident is likely to occur in slippery conditions or when a truck comes to a sudden stop. The back of the trailer pushes too far forward on the cab, causing the cab to swing around and face the opposite direction of the trailer. In this case, the vehicle becomes stuck because the cab is facing a different direction than the rest of the vehicle.


Rollovers are defined by a truck turning onto the side or top of the vehicle. This type of accident frequently happens when a driver attempts to recover after putting a tire off of the pavement. When the tire trips over the separation between the pavement and the soft ground, it can rut, causing a rollover. Speeding, especially around a corner can also cause a rollover. The tendency of a road maneuver to roll a big rig is even more likely with double and triple trailer operations. These longer trailers make the center of gravity more likely to roll the rig. Even a sudden lane change can roll these types of vehicles. Once a truck begins to roll, it is completely out of control.

Tire Blowout

A tire blowout can cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle. This danger is magnified when a truck weighs tens of thousands of pounds. In a one-week study published by the International Highway Transportation Safety (IHTS), 3,765 violations were found for tires with inadequate treads, and 3,658 violations for failure to comply with general inspection, maintenance and repair. This type of accident is completely avoidable when it is due to negligent maintenance operations.

Underride Accident

Underride and override accidents can be horrific, occasionally resulting in decapitation. An override accident is one in which a truck runs over the vehicle in front of it. An underride accident occurs when a vehicle crashes into the trailer and goes underneath. It is estimated that as many as half of all fatal truck accidents involve truck underrides. If there is enough force in the collision, the entire vehicle is destroyed.




  • Head On Collision
  • Side Swipe
  • Rear End Collision
  • Intersection Collision
  • Striking a Stalled Vehicle

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