There are so many different types of crashes that occur that it is difficult to classify all of them. There are fender-benders that occur at low speeds and only result in mild cosmetic damage to the vehicles involves. There are rear-end collisions that may cause soft tissue injuries and T-bone crashes that can render vehicles completely unsafe to drive.
Of all of the categories of collision types, crashes between semi-trucks and four-wheeled vehicles are arguably the worst. There are numerous types of semi-truck crashes that occur, and they can all lead to devastating injuries for the people in the smaller vehicle, as well as massive property damage. These are three types of collisions that have a particularly strong association with 18-wheelers.
1. Underride collisions
The height of the trailer attached to a semi-truck makes it inherently dangerous to smaller passenger vehicles. Cars that strike a truck from the rear or the side could end up passing under the truck and either crushed or ripped apart in the process. Rear-underride guards are mandatory but may not always offer optimal protection from such crashes. Side-underride guards are not yet required, which makes such preventable collisions a common concern on modern highways.
2. Jackknife incidents
All it takes is a slick patch of road, a freak gust of wind or a poorly-loaded trailer for a driver to lose control of the truck. A jackknife incident occurs when the momentum of the trailer pushes it in a direction different than the one the truck driver intends. The trailer and cab move in different directions, often striking multiple vehicles near them in traffic and potentially blocking numerous lanes of traffic afterward.
3. Rollover collisions
Improper loading, heavy winds and abrupt turns can all potentially lead to the shifting of the contents in a trailer and then a rollover incident. When the center of gravity for the vehicle changes, the entire vehicle may roll over on its side, possibly numerous times if the incident occurs while the vehicle travels at a high speed. Such incidents can cause catastrophic property damage and could involve numerous other vehicles nearby, just like jackknife incidents.
The crashes caused by semi-trucks often result in devastating consequences for the people affected, which is one reason it is so important for people to understand their rights afterward. Pursuing an insurance claim or even a lawsuit with the assistance of a legal professional may be necessary for those who are coping with the injurious consequences of a semi-truck collision.