Truck Rollover Accidents: Causes and How They Can Be Prevented
April 20, 2022
Truck rollover accidents can occur when a truck is traveling along a curved path and its centrifugal force causes it to lean away from the curve’s direction. Semi-trucks are more prone to rollover accidents because of their high center of gravity and because they carry loads that can shift during transit. Unfortunately, truck rollovers can cause devastating injuries when passenger vehicles are involved.
Common Causes of Truck Rollover Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration completed the Large Truck Crash Causation Study. In this in-depth analysis, federal regulators pinpointed 239 crashes involving a truck rollover. The organization found the most common causes of truck rollover accidents were:
Speeding along a curved road is a leading cause of truck rollover accidents. Drivers may misjudge the sharpness of a turn and fail to adjust their speed in time before they take the curve too quickly.
Truck drivers must work long hours, so they are often tired. Fatigued drivers may be slower to react to hazards and to fall asleep behind the wheel, which can increase the risk of a rollover.
Driving a truck for hours without stopping can be tedious, leading drivers to engage in distracted driving activities, such as:
- Talking on a cellphone or texting while driving
- Looking at phones, GPS units, controls, or directions
- Eating or drinking
- Inputting controls into GPS units or using the radio
- Looking at things outside the vehicle
Hundreds of thousands of new truck drivers enter the industry each year to take the place of others who have retired or given up on this demanding job. Trucking companies often struggle with retaining adequate numbers of drivers to make their deliveries on time. These factors can cause them to skip on necessary training or background checks. Trucks are incredibly difficult to maneuver, so inexperienced drivers may make driving mistakes that have catastrophic results.
Trucks have thousands of moving parts. Mechanical problems can lead to truck rollovers, such as:
- Blown-out tires
- Worn or poorly maintained brakes
- Under-inflated tires
- Suspension problems
- Lack of proper lubricants
Truckers are required to complete a pre-trip inspection before beginning their delivery, but some may skip them so they can get on the road faster.
Loads that are not properly loaded or secured can shift during transit. This can cause the weight on one side of the truck to be significantly greater than the other side, which can lead to the truck tipping over. Likewise, if the trailer is only partially loaded, this can increase the odds of a rollover happening due to the shifting of the cargo. Trucks that are loaded in excess of weight limits can also cause rollovers.
How to Prevent Truck Rollovers
Trucking companies must familiarize themselves with the common causes that contribute to truck rollover accidents. They have a legal obligation to take reasonable measures to ensure their drivers do not pose a risk to other motorists. Some ways trucking companies and drivers can prevent these disastrous crashes include:
- Thoroughly checking the background and driving history of all applicants before hiring them
- Properly training drivers
- Not creating a culture or incentives that prioritizes speed over safety
- Routinely conducting vehicle maintenance and performing necessary repairs
- Properly securing loads
- Not overloading trucks
Contact a Lawyer for Help with Your Truck Rollover Accident Claim
Claims involving semi-trucks are often complicated because many factors can contribute to them. An experienced truck accident lawyer with Aitken * Aitken * Cohn can review the circumstances surrounding your claim and pursue the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us today for a free case review.