Semi-truck collisions typically occur because of something that a driver does in traffic. It could be the commercial driver operating the 18-wheeler who makes the mistake, or it might be someone in a smaller vehicle that causes a crash.
However, there are also certain kinds of collisions that have a stronger association with business liability for a crash. Two types of wrecks that almost always involve commercial vehicles are also frequently preventable if commercial transportation companies adhere to best practices.
There is a noticeable difference in height between the average passenger vehicle and an 18-wheeler. Especially when the passenger vehicle is a compact model, it could end up passing under the trailer of the semi-truck with catastrophic consequences. Underride collisions are a result of the gap in size, and there are additions to commercial trailers that can help prevent these collisions.
Every trailer should have a rear underride guard, and commercial transportation companies can invest in stronger, better models that offer better protection for the public. Companies can also choose to install side underride guards. These important additions to commercial vehicles save lives, but they are not currently mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration like rear underride guards are.
A jackknife incident occurs when a driver loses control of their vehicle and the cab ends up moving in a different direction than the trailer attached to it. Jackknife incidents can lead to rollovers and to a single truck potentially blocking every lane of traffic on a major freeway.
Although these collisions can be a result of unsafe driving habits, improperly-loaded trailers are a factor. If drivers don’t know about fluids in the trailer or if the weight of the cargo inside is uneven, there can be issues, especially when going around curves or turning. Proper training of commercial drivers, careful loading of cargo and investment in sufficient safety guards could all be ways for transportation companies to prevent major collisions.
In scenarios where someone who has been hurt in a crash can show that a transportation company should be held responsible for it, that may alter their options for compensation after a collision. Seeking legal guidance to better understand how employers and outside parties may contribute to semi-truck crashes can help people to more effectively respond when one occurs.