As the southern endpoint of Interstate 95, Miami is host to a high volume of commercial truck traffic. Due to their size and construction, trucks are susceptible to unique kinds of collisions. There are several types of Miami truck accidents, all of which can cause serious damage or injury.
An accident in which a vehicle is struck on the side is referred to as a broadside collision. A broadside collision, commonly known as a “T-bone,” involves the front of one vehicle striking the side of another. These accidents often take place at intersections when drivers fail to follow traffic laws.
For large trucks, a side collision can also take place during a turn. The turn radius for a semi-truck is much larger than that of most vehicles, meaning the trailer swings very wide in turns. Truck drivers can diminish collision risk by practicing vigilance, but they can occasionally make errors in judgment. Motorists are advised to keep a safe distance, giving trucks a wide berth to turn.
A rear-end collision is an accident in which one or more vehicles are struck from behind. Rear-end collisions are usually caused by an abrupt stop of the lead vehicle, and a failure on the part of the driver in the rear vehicle to leave enough space to stop safely. In heavy traffic, this can easily cause a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.
The term “head-on collision” refers to an accident in which two vehicles strike one another from the front. Head-on collisions can have serious consequences for the occupants of both vehicles.
When a semi-truck with a trailer skids, it is at risk for jackknifing. If the trailer continues to move forward after the driver applies the brakes, it can spin the cab so that it faces backward, resulting in complete loss of control. The truck or trailer can swing into traffic, posing a lethal risk for all involved.
In the United States, rollover accidents are responsible for nearly 35% of all fatalities in passenger vehicle crashes. A rollover occurs when a vehicle tips onto its roof, usually after leaving the road surface and “tripping,” or, in the case of trucks, after turning too sharply.
Override and Underride
Override and underride accidents are specific kinds of rear-end and side collisions unique to large vehicles like commercial semi-trucks. Due to the large distance between the trailer’s undercarriage and the ground, smaller vehicles can become trapped or wedged under the trailer.
An override accident occurs when a truck strikes and partially overruns a smaller vehicle. Override accidents are usually the result of unsafe driving on the part of the truck driver. An underride collision occurs when a smaller vehicle strikes a large truck, and is partially forced underneath. Often, the first impact is to the windshield, and in some cases the entire roof is torn off the smaller vehicle. Underride collisions can be extremely dangerous for the vehicle’s occupants.
Preventing Truck Accidents
Risk factors for truck accidents include:
- Faulty brakes
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Slippery roads
Safe driving practices help prevent accidents of all kinds, and federal standards for safe equipment have mitigated the risk of truck accidents. Still, human error and equipment failure can result in dangerous collisions. If you have been involved in one of these types of Miami truck accidents, you may wish to seek counsel from an experienced attorney. For a free consultation, contact us at 305-440-0450. We would be happy to help.