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Three Common Types of Trucking Accidents

By: Anapol Weiss

The sheer size and weight of many commercial vehicles cause them to be extremely dangerous when crashes occur. Sadly, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that in 2013, 3,541 crashes involving large trucks and buses resulted in fatality and 69,000 crashes involved nonfatal injury.

Three common incidents in tractor trailer crashes include jackknifing, rollovers, and underride collisions. All three are complex events that are often caused as a result of driver error, unusual road problems, weather and other environmental issues, and other factors.


Jackknifing is often sudden and unpredictable to nearby motorists. When a tractor begins to skid as a result of sudden braking, the trailer will push the tractor around until the two fold together and collide. The driver in a jackknifed truck will have extreme difficulty moving the tractor, as it is then facing the opposite direction of the trailer. Other vehicles may not have enough time to stop or avoid the truck, which can quickly lead to a multi-vehicle accident.


When a truck travels along a curved path, it leans away from the direction of the curve and can turn over. Tractor trailers are particularly vulnerable to rollovers because of the trailer’s high center of gravity and frequently unstable loads. Data collected from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimated that nine percent of all large truck crashes involve rollovers.

Underride Collisions

Underride crashes involve a passenger vehicle that collides with a tractor trailer and ends up positioned at least partially underneath the truck at some point during the crash. The distance between the road and the underside of a trailer is often greater than the height of a passenger vehicle hood, which allows these smaller vehicles to move underneath the trailer.

Contact Our Truck Accident Lawyers

Tractor trailer accidents often result in fatalities and catastrophic injuries. When motorists act carelessly on the road, they put themselves and everyone nearby in danger. Contact our firm for assistance if you or a loved one was hurt in an accident involving a tractor trailer. Our team has decades of experience investigating complex truck accident cases, and we can help.