Truck rollover accidents are traumatic events that can leave victims with lasting physical and emotional injuries. Unfortunately, anyone who survives these types of crashes may find themselves having to juggle recovering from their injuries, mental anguish, and financial stress all at the same time. If you or someone you care about was involved in a truck rollover accident in Texas, the responsible party could be held accountable for your damages.
What Causes a Truck to Rollover?
Truck rollover accidents occur when the front wheels turn the truck more quickly than the cargo it is carrying. The faster the speed of travel, the more dangerous the result.
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) examined 239 crashes in which a truck rolled over. Their in-depth analysis revealed the following causes of truck rollover accidents:
- Curves taken at excessive speed: Although taking a curve too quickly in any vehicle can cause it to roll, large trucks have a higher center of gravity than most cars, making trucks more susceptible to rollovers when drivers fail to adjust their speed for a turn.
- Being in a hurry: Truck drivers that are running late, impatient, trying to beat another vehicle at a merge point, or have a commitment unrelated to work will often disregard safety regulations.
- Road rage: Although anger only resulted in three of the rollover crashes analyzed in the study, an overly aggressive response by a truck driver can have deadly repercussions.
- Condition of the truck’s brakes: Fifteen of the truck rollovers were caused by faulty brakes that hindered the truck’s ability to slow down enough to avoid a rollover.
- Road surface: Slippery road conditions and long downward grades caused eleven of the rollovers examined. Since the truck drivers were aware of the safety threat posed by the roadway conditions and failed to adequately reduce their speed to prevent a rollover, the actual fault lies with the drivers rather than the roads.
- Intersections: Ten rollovers were caused by drivers taking their turn too fast in hopes of beating a traffic light or making a last-second turn instead of choosing to keep going and make a U-turn.
- Driver inattention: Lack of inattention to what is going on ahead of the truck can necessitate a sudden change in direction and cause a rollover crash.
- Cargo load: Twenty-six of the rollover crashes analyzed resulted from loads that were too heavy, mounted too high in the truck, or insecurely fastened. Ramps, curves, lane changes, and when a wheel drops off the pavement can easily produce a rollover accident if the truck’s load is off-balance or improperly secured.
- Drowsy driving: Sleep deprivation, a common risk to truck drivers because of their hours and long-distance driving, was present in over a third (twenty cases) of attention-related rollovers.
- Failure to keep a safe following distance: In ideal road conditions, a large truck requires a distance of almost two football fields to come to a complete stop if they are traveling at 65 mph.
- Distracted driving: Cell phones, passengers, CBs, and radios pulled a truck driver’s attention away from the road, causing thirteen rollovers.
- Overcorrection: A turn too far in one direction followed by a corrective turn into the opposite direction that exceeds the truck’s stability can result in a rollover. About nineteen of the truck rollovers in the study were the result of overcorrection by the driver.
- Over- or under-steering: Poor steering control led to twenty rollovers—about half of these involved over-steering during lane changes and swerving too sharply to avoid trouble.
Large truck rollover crashes are often the result of driver negligence. Out of all 239 of the truck rollover accidents that were examined in the study, the truck driver was found to be responsible for all but 32 of the crashes.
Get in Touch With a Texas Rollover Truck Accident Attorney
If you have been in a rollover accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may consider working with an experienced Texas truck accident attorney to pursue a claim against the parties responsible for your injuries and other losses.