Weekly in the greater Houston area a big truck rolls over and shuts down a highway for hours at a time, stranding commuters and sending many to the hospital or the morgue.
One must ask, why are there so many semi trucks rolling over?
A study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicated that almost 50% of the rollover accidents with a semi truck were caused by a driver not reducing speed heading into curves on the roadways, how the cargo was loaded, issues regarding the brakes or intersection issues. Click here to see the study.
Inattention on behalf of the truck driver is the second most common cause of rollover crash. The third major cause of a rollover truck wreck is improper steering input. Finally, height and weight of the load on the trailer can have a significant impact on how easily a big truck tips over.
It’s physics mostly
When a vehicle enters a curve, centrifugal force calls the vehicle to lean in the opposite direction of the curve. Big trucks are especially susceptible to roll over accidents because the high center of gravity takes less centrifugal force to tip over a truck.
Additional studies have shown that rollover crashes are one of the deadliest of all truck accidents resulting in substantial numbers of fatalities for the truck driver or passengers of the big truck not to mention the motoring public around the rig.
Many rollover crashes occur on freeway ramps and inclines where the truck driver does not sufficiently reduce speed to accommodate for the curve in the roadway. Driver error is a major cause of a rollover truck crash, with excessive speed at the top of the list.
Truck drivers are or should be trained to reduce speed while navigating curves in the roadway to avoid a rollover accident. The problem of driver error is exacerbated by companies that overload the big truck in order to maximize profits on the trip. Many drivers are caught between a rock and a hard place when their companies load the truck and insist they carry the load as secured.
Shifting cargo can also pose an issue that can lead to a rollover crash. Likewise, vehicles that are not roadworthy particularly those with poor breaking ability can substantially increase the odds of a rollover crash. Additionally, underinflated tires also can contribute to a rollover.
Drivers are charged with the duty of inspecting their loads, the condition of their trucks and ensuring that their truck is in proper operating condition via inspections. Trucking companies are required to ensure that their drivers are properly trained and following the rules that apply to motor carriers and truck drivers.
The vast majority of rollover crashes could’ve been avoided with safe driving practices and properly maintained vehicles.
If you or loved one has been injured in a rollover accident involving an 18 wheeler truck call for free consultation- Toll Free 1-866-758-4529.