Friday, 22 January 2016
6 Most Common Truck Accidents and How to Avoid Them?
With over 5.6 million semi trucks registered in the US, the potential for wrecks and accidents are pretty up there. Although I’m just a four-wheeler, I’ve seen quite my share of trucking accidents: trucks off the road, even some flipped over (scary). Which has me thinking, what are the most common types of trucking accidents, and how can truckers work to avoid them? So without further ado, here’s our list of seven of the most common truck accidents and how you can prevent them from happening to you.
Accident Type #1 - Rollovers
Rollovers are the type of accident that causes the truck to tip over onto its side, or even the roof. These accidents occur due to an excess of speed, a steep incline or decline, shifting cargo, a top-heavy load, or a jack-knife.
How to Avoid it : Take it slow, especially around turns, curbs, etc. Be sure to check your brakes to ensure that they are properly working, and also check that your cargo is secured properly.
Accident Type #2 - Jackknife
A jackknife occurs when a truck’s brakes lock up, causing the vehicle to skid and swing out at a 90° angle from the cab. This type of accident gets its name because the angle resembles that of a jackknife (the blade and the handle). If you’re not careful, a jackknife accident can easily become a rollover crash.
How to Avoid it : It all comes down to your braking. Before rounding a turn, brake during the straightaways and not the turn itself. Decelerating during a turn raises the risk of you jackknifing. If you feel yourself skidding, release the brakes and steer into the skid.
Accident Type #3 - Rear-End Collision
You’re not like most of the vehicles on the road. You need plenty of space to make turns, accelerate, and come to a stop. Whenever you don’t give yourself enough time to come to a stop, you raise the potential of having a rear-end collision.
How to Avoid it : Avoiding a rear-end collision can be tricky. Sometimes, all it takes is for you to start braking in advance of a stop. However, most times rear-end collision occur due to sudden brakes in traffic, which unfortunately makes it difficult to avoid. The suggestion would be to keep a safe distance between vehicles and cars at all times.
Accident Type #4 - Head-On (or) Side Impact
One of the most common accidents that involve a truck and a car is the head-on or side-impact. These accidents, as the names suggest, occur when there is an excess of speed and unchecked lane changes. Many four-wheelers make the mistake of cutting off a truck, not realizing the extra time trucks need to brake.
How to Avoid it : Although you can’t always help what a four-wheeler is going to do on the road, you can work to prevent this type of accident by always paying attention, signaling lane changes early, and reducing your speed in heavy traffic.
Accident Type #5 - Runaway
We’ve all seen the runaway truck ramps when we’re driving through the mountain passes. They look intimidating and scary as you know what! But when your brakes fail, especially on a steep decline, you’re thankful for those runaway ramps.
How to Avoid it : Unfortunately, when brakes fail due to overuse there’s little a driver can do outside of locating a truck escape ramp. These ramps use gravel/sand to cause friction to slow down a truck. And a note to all of you four-wheelers, if you see a runaway truck coming down the highway, move to the shoulder!
Accident Type #6 - Loose Cargo
Accidents can occur for several different types of reasons, but one of the most common is loose cargo. When cargo becomes loose, it can shift around in the truck distributing the weight in different areas. This raises the occurrence of rollovers, especially if the cargo shifts when traveling around turns.
How to Avoid it : The surest way you can avoid cargo shifting during transit is to check that everything is secure before leaving and while at rest stops. The speed at which you drive also plays a role in the shifting of cargo. Minimize the amount of sharp turns you take at a high speed.
Accidents happen, but you can drastically reduce your chances by knowing the most common types of accidents and possible ways to avoid them. For more tips on all things trucking, be sure to keep up with TruckLogics. We’ll bring you the latest in industry news and tips every week. And if you haven’t done so already, give TruckLogics a try. It’s free for 15 days!