Dangerous tractor-trailer rollover accidents—which occur when a truck flips over while moving—are frighteningly common on our nation’s roadways. Because the wheels have left the ground, the vehicle is totally out of control. Other motorists on the roadway are in jeopardy, as well as objects that happen to be in the runaway truck’s path. In addition, cargo may go flying, possibly striking other vehicles or posing obstacles on the road that may prompt evasive maneuvers…and more accidents. Not to mention, hazardous/toxic payloads can trigger widespread injury and property damage miles from the original accident site, and perhaps long after the incident has occurred.
The most common causes of tractor-trailer rollover accidents include:
- Improperly loaded trailer. If a load’s weight is not evenly distributed or properly secured, it may shift while traveling and result in a rollover.
- Speeding. The higher the speed, the more potential for rollovers. Rounding a curve or turn too quickly, a shifting load, or hitting an object on the road is all it takes.
- Wind. Tractor-trailers are long and broad, making them more susceptible to the effects of wind gusts. High-wind warnings should be heeded.
- Careless and reckless driving. This includes a driver’s lack of understanding how to drive his/her rig, impatience, or driving under the influence or while sleep deprived.
Improper maintenance. Underinflated tires or a damaged suspension can cause a truck to tip over on sharp curves, steep downhill grades, or uneven road surfaces.
If you have suffered injury due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, contact an accident attorney to protect your rights.