While driving on the highway, most people have probably seen a large truck or semi-trailer rolled over in the ditch at some point. During these crashes, large trucks can seriously injure those in passenger cars due to them weighing “20-30 times” more.1 Truck drivers are also at risk of injury. For instance, in Illinois, a “tanker truck carrying 8,500 pounds of propane” crashed off the road, leaving the driver with minor injuries.2
In a 2008 study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), researchers analyzed the leading causes of “239 crashes in which a truck rolled over.”3 In this article, we will explore the top causes behind these rollover accidents, as well as why trucks are more susceptible to rolling over.
The Physics behind Trucks Rolling Over
Large trucks, especially semi-trailer trucks, roll over due to their “high center of gravity.”3 A truck’s center of gravity helps it stay steady and upright on the road. Its center of gravity often becomes misaligned “in curves, such as on- and off-ramps, where the truck turns but the load tends to continue along the original path,” causing the truck to roll over.3
Three Major Causes of Truck Rollover Crashes
The researchers of this FMCSA study note that there are often multiple causes of truck rollovers. However, based on the data they collected, here is a list of three major causes of truck rollover accidents that you should know:
- Excessive Speeding around Curves
- This error is most often caused by the driver’s misjudgment of “the speed at which [a] curve can be safely entered.”3
- Driver’s Lack of Attention
- Two reasons behind this include the driver’s inattention and falling asleep at the wheel.3
- Errors in Controlling Truck
- Poor steering and overcorrection are the main factors behind this reason.3
Who Is at Fault for Most Truck Rollover Accidents?
In the 2008 FMCSA study, researchers found most of the 239 rollovers happened “due to an error on the part of the driver,” rather than “some other driver or [the] condition of the truck.”3
Severely Injured in a Truck Accident? We Can Help
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a truck accident, our attorneys at Shannon Law Group P.C. can help you get the compensation you deserve. Please fill out our online contact form or call us at (312) 578-9501, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation as well.