How Driver Error Contributes to Large Truck Rollover Accidents
An out-of-control semi can roll over several times, crushing nearby passenger vehicles and swinging out into multiple lanes of traffic. Victims of these crashes may suffer catastrophic injuries or death.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 5 percent of all fatalities and 2 percent of all injuries in truck crashes were caused by rollovers in 2014.
Even more alarming, FMCSA estimates that 78 percent of rollovers are caused by truck driver error.
Common Driving Errors That Result in Truck Rollover Wrecks
If you or a loved one was hurt in a rollover accident, there's a strong chance truck driver’s negligence may be the cause of it. Trucker negligence contributes in the following ways:
- Speeding. If a driver is speeding, especially around curves, this can cause his truck to tilt and then rollover. Rollovers are common on highway entrance and exit ramps when truckers fail to properly adjust speed.
- Distracted driving. When a trucker is distracted by texting, talking on a cellphone, or others activities that take his attention away from the job at hand, a sudden directional change can result in a rollover.
- Truck maintenance. Under federal regulations, large truck drivers have a duty to inspect their vehicles before and after each trip and not drive them if they need brake or tire repairs. Trucking companies can also be responsible for improper maintenance and inspection of these vital truck parts.
- Improper loading. When a truck isn't loaded properly or the freight is unsecure, it can cause the truck to be less stable, increasing the likelihood of a rollover. Transporting liquids also affect the truck’s center of gravity, making it easier for the rig to tip over.
- Steering. A driver must be careful and precise when steering a tractor-trailer. Understeering—where the truck fails to stay in its lane—or overcorrecting can destabilize a truck and cause it to rollover.
- Fatigue. If a truck driver is drowsy or falls asleep while driving, he can drift into the wrong lane. When he wakes up and makes a sudden correction, this may result in a rollover. Violation of federal hours of service regulations is often a cause of drowsy driving.
Depending on why the rollover occurred, more than just the truck driver could be responsible for compensating you. Let Alan Morton take over the burden of investigating your crash and determining all the liable parties. To find out more, call our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.