Car accidents in which a vehicle rolls are some of the most dangerous types of accidents. Likewise, accidents that cause a semi truck to overturn are proportionally more dangerous than car accidents. An overturned semi can obstruct five lanes of traffic and cause major delays, if not tragic injuries.
Evansville drivers should be aware of the limitations and dangers associated with sharing the road with 53-foot semi trucks. Knowing what causes them to overturn may help you avoid and prevent an accident before it happens.
There are five common scenarios that can cause a semi to overturn on Evansville roads.
1. Speeding Around Turns
Semi trucks are not only difficult to drive because of their length, but also because of their height. Commercial truck drivers have to take turns cautiously to avoid their high center of gravity becoming unstable.
Even cars can overturn if they take turns too quickly, but trucks are much harder to control than your SUV. Negligent driving can sometimes cause trucks to make dangerous maneuvers around turns or in other dangerous situations. Cars that do not pass trucks quickly enough or speed up as a truck tries to pass them are especially dangerous, because the truck driver’s concentration is split between the road and the passing vehicle.
Any vehicle can overturn if the driver takes a turn too fast, but semi trucks’ extra height and weight makes this accident even more likely to occur.
2. Strong Winds
Indiana is known for its plains-like winds. The central part of the state has a wind farm that stretches dozens of miles in all directions. With such flat, straight roads, you may wonder how any truck could flip over until you hear the wind whip against your own vehicle.
A truck’s broad sides are basically giant sails the wind can use to push the truck all over the road. Especially in gusty conditions, this makes controlling a semi even harder than normal. Empty trailers pose the biggest threat to drivers, as the lack of weight allows the wind to buffet the vehicle all the more easily.
Even moderate winds can affect trucks and cause them to overturn. If you ever see a truck struggling to stay in its lane because of strong winds, stay back until the wind dies down.
3. Uneven Weight Distribution
Trucking companies try to pack their trailers with as much as possible to ensure their trips are worth the cost. Sometimes this leads to an odd assortment of goods in a single trailer, some heavy and some not, which makes it difficult to control.
If you’ve ever driven your family car weighed down with suitcases across the state, you’ll know how different your vehicle handles when it’s loaded up. This phenomenon is even more pronounced for semi trucks, whose cargo can shift in the middle of the drive and throw off their center of gravity. These sudden changes are hard for drivers to predict and can cause them to swerve or even overturn.
Obviously, highway collisions with semis can cause them to overturn, but trucks have overturned without ever touching another car.
Because trucks have such deep blind spots all around their vehicle, they can be caught off guard by reckless drivers who cut them off or appear from behind as the truck tries to change lanes. These scenarios and many more can cause drivers to swerve, overcorrect, or brake suddenly and increases the danger of overturning.
Be aware of your proximity to trucks and their blind spots. Every driver can help prevent serious truck accidents by driving cautiously and helping truck drivers avoid making sudden maneuvers.
5. Distracted, Drowsy, or Drunk Driving
Commercial truck drivers should know the serious responsibility of getting behind the wheel of a tractor trailer, but every so often, an impaired driver causes an accident.
Federal interstate traffic laws require truck drivers (like airline pilots) to have a certain number of hours off between driving shifts. In addition, truck drivers are subject to even stricter punishments for distracted or drunk driving than you are. These regulations help keep the number of impaired drivers down.
Help from Evansville Truck Accident Lawyers
If you’ve been hurt because of an accident involving negligent truck driving, call Hensley Legal Group. Our Evansville truck accident attorneys may be able to help you get just compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.