How are truck rollover crashes different from other accidents?

Any traffic accident has the potential to cause severe, life-changing injuries to those involved. The risks are even higher, however, when a large truck is involved, especially for the drivers and passengers in the other vehicles. In 2016, nearly ¾ of those killed in large truck crashes were other drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. The size and weight of commercial vehicles mean they typically cause more destruction when involved in accidents.

While commercial trucks are involved in a wide range of accidents, rollover crashes are one of the most dangerous. According to national data, while these types of accidents are not common, they do have high fatality rates.

Rollover Crashes and Why They Occur

A rollover crash occurs when a vehicle tips onto its side or rolls onto its roof. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes these crashes as particularly violent and notes that taller vehicles are more susceptible to this type of accident. Some of the most common factors that contribute to rollover crashes include:

  • Speeding
  • Road conditions
  • Driver distraction
  • Uneven cargo
  • Alcohol use

Types of Rollover Crashes

Rollover crashes are divided into two categories based on the initial cause of the rollover. The two types are:

  • Tripped. In a tripped rollover, the vehicle leaves the road. The truck may hit soft soil or strike an object, such as a guardrail. The force generated by these changes causes the vehicle to flip.
  • Untripped. These accidents are less common, but they do occur when uneven weight in the truck results in a rollover. When the driver makes a turn or attempts to maneuver the truck, the undistributed weight can pull the vehicle into a rollover.

How Truck Rollover Accidents Are Different

In either case, when a large truck rolls over, it can create a wide path of destruction. When the wheels leave the road, the driver has no control of the truck. It can slide unpredictably, striking anything in its path. The large size and heavy weight combine to create a dangerous situation.

More than 8,000 people were killed in rollover truck accidents across the U.S. in 2016, and countless more were injured. Alaskans can be especially vulnerable to these crashes given the high number of rural roads, weather conditions, and wildlife.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a truck rollover accident, you may be facing a lengthy recovery and mounting medical bills. Attorney Ben Crittenden can help you understand your rights to compensation and work to help you obtain what you need to make as full a recovery as possible. Call Ben at his Anchorage office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation or request a free copy of his book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, to learn more about your options.