Types of Truck Accidents

Types of Tractor-Trailer and Trucking Accidents

When commercial drivers make mistakes, fail to obey traffic laws, or drive while under the influence, we suffer the consequences. Truck accidents are responsible for 4,000 deaths each year, making commercial vehicles one of the biggest dangers on America’s roadways. If you are injured in a truck accident, we’re here to help.

This chart from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the breakdown of fatalities in large-truck crashes.

A head-on collision occurs when the front end of a truck collides with the front end of another vehicle. If a driver falls asleep and ends up on the wrong side of the road, he’s likely to cause a head-on collision. This type of accident often results in devastating injuries and fatalities, especially if the commercial truck hits a small sedan or coupe.


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Jackknife Accidents

Jackknifing is a type of accident that occurs when a truck driver brakes quickly, causing the truck’s trailer to swing outward. This type of accident gets its name from the angle formed by the trailer and the cab.  Additional facts:

Wet Roads

It’s more common for jackknifing to occur when the roads are slick.


Increased Speed

“A 10 mph increase in the posted speed limit increases the odds of a jackknife by 49 percent for combination trucks.”


Poor Lighting Conditions

“Poor lighting conditions increase the odds of a jackknife by 43 percent.”

Bad Weather

“In a single-vehicle fatal crash, the odds of a jackknife are 3.22 times higher during adverse weather conditions.”


Curvy Roadway

“The odds of a jackknife on a curved roadway are 86 percent higher than the odds of a jackknife on a straight roadway.”


Increased Length Of The Truck

“A 10 percent increase in the total length of the truck corresponds to an increase of 14 percent in the odds of a jackknife for combination trucks.”

If you look at the shape of the tractor and its trailer, you’ll see that it resembles a jackknife blade and handle in a resting position.

Brake Failure Accidents

If a truck’s brakes fail while the truck is in motion, the driver may not be able to stop in time to prevent an accident. Brake failure can occur if the trucking company does not properly maintain its vehicles, or if the truck’s driver does not complete daily vehicle inspections as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA). Another potential cause of brake failure is an imbalance in the truck’s braking system. A common cause of brake imbalance is failure to adjust brake components properly.

A rear-end collision occurs when the front end of a truck crashes into the rear of another vehicle. Most truck accidents are rear-end collisions.

A side-impact collision, also known as a “T-Bone collision,” is when a truck driver strikes the side of a vehicle. This type of accident can have devastating consequences because of the minimal protection that the side of a vehicle provides its occupants.  

A rollover accident is particularly violent. A commercial vehicle is more likely to roll over because of its high center of gravity. Rollover accidents often occur when a truck driver drives too fast for conditions.  

An underrride is when a vehicle collides with a truck or the trailer of a tractor-trailer and runs under the truck. This often leads to the slicing off of the roof of the vehicle. Rear guards are the main preventative measure to reduce underride deaths.

Items that fall from tractor trailers can quickly become deadly projectiles, which can cause significant harm and damage to highway users. Debris that is left in the roadway significantly increases the risk of collisions.

Tire blowouts can cause tractor trailers to quickly lose control of their rig. If a tire blows out it is common for a load to shift which can result in a lost load.

It’s much easier to turn a sedan than it is to turn a truck, especially on a narrow roadway. To make a right turn, a truck driver often has to swing left to complete the turn. As a result, the truck may trap cars between the curb and the driver’s blind spot.

A box truck, also known as a cube truck, cube van, box van, panel truck or straight truck, is a truck with a cuboid-shaped cargo area.

If driven at a high rate of speed and by an unqualified driver, a loaded cement truck can quickly become a dangerous weapon on the road.

Bus accidents account for more than 200 deaths per year.


Dump trucks are specifically designed to carry 65,000 pounds; therefore, accidents involving dump trucks are often fatal.

Truck Accident Lawyer

If you were recently injured in a truck accident, contact the experienced Georgia truck accident attorneys at Butler Law Firm. We can help you recover compensation for your injuries.