How Dangerous are Semi-Truck Rollovers?
It is not difficult to see why an overturning semi-truck might be dangerous. These heavy vehicles can cause serious damage when they roll over, and anyone caught in the immediate vicinity faces serious injury, property damage, and death. But how dangerous are these crashes? What kind of unique hazards does a semi-truck rollover cause for innocent motorists? How can these crashes be avoided, and how common are they in California? Even one semi-truck rollover crash is a serious problem, and unfortunately, the Golden State sees many each month. Sometimes, there are numerous rollover crashes within a single week. If you have suffered injuries in a semi-truck rollover crash, you might be wondering what steps you can take to pursue justice. Keep reading to find out.
Truck Rollovers are All Too Common in California
Unfortunately, truck rollover crashes are all too common in California. On February 11, 2023, it was reported that a driver was pinned by an overturned semi-truck near Hesperia, California. According to the California Highway Patrol, a semi-truck carrying soft drinks seemed to have flipped over on the highway. This left the trucker pinned between the trailer and the freeway wall. Authorities also noted that he was lying in a puddle of diesel fuel when first responders approached. Fortunately, the trucker was rescued by emergency teams after a grueling 30-minute effort involving special equipment. The victim was then rushed to the hospital via helicopter.
Later in the month, it was reported that a semi-truck overturned near Victorville on the I-15. Two victims were trapped by the accident, and both victims were transported to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. Both of these situations could have been much worse – especially if other motorists had been caught up with the semi-trucks.
What Can Cause a Truck to Roll Over?
Many things can cause trucks to roll over:
- Unbalanced Loads: If a truck is loaded incorrectly and in an unbalanced manner, it can increase the chances of a rollover crash. These crashes are especially common if the cargo is inherently difficult to balance. For example, log truck rollovers are especially common due to the unbalanced and asymmetrical nature of logs.
- Reckless Driving: Truckers can easily roll over their vehicles if they drive recklessly. Examples include slamming on the brakes too quickly, suddenly accelerating, driving while intoxicated, and much more.
- Taking Corners Too Quickly: One of the most common causes of rollover crashes is taking corners too quickly. Truckers should slow down as they approach corners. If they fail to do this, it is usually a sign of either recklessness or inexperience.
- Distractions: Distractions can easily cause trucks to roll over. Glancing at a phone for even a few seconds can cause truckers to lose control, swerving across the road before flipping onto their sides. Anything that takes a trucker’s eyes off the road is a distraction.
- Overcorrecting: Even the most experienced truckers are sometimes guilty of overcorrecting. They might swerve to avoid a pedestrian or another vehicle before turning too quickly in the opposite direction, causing the truck to overturn.
- Wind: Believe it or not, a strong gust of wind can cause a semi-truck to roll over. This happens all the time in California. In January of 2023, it was reported that a big rig flipped almost completely upside down due to powerful winds on the I-15. The 25-mile-per-hour winds easily pushed the vehicle over, but fortunately, no one seemed to be seriously injured.
- Mechanical Issues: Failing brakes or transmissions can also cause trucks to roll over. A trucker relies on the brakes and other complex controls to make turns at safe speeds. If these mechanical components fail, it can easily cause a trucker to veer across the road and flip.
- Low Visibility: If a trucker cannot see hazards approaching, it becomes impossible to plan for them and avoid rollovers. Examples of low visibility include fog, snow, traffic jams, intense rain, and so on.
How Can Truckers Avoid Rollover Crashes?
One potential strategy for avoiding rollover crashes is to use runaway ramps. These ramps are specifically put in place to help avoid truck accidents – especially when trucks have too much speed to take corners safely. This is exactly what one trucker did when he was heading down the “grapevine” – a stretch of road that runs along the I-5 from Fort Trejon to Grapevine Road.
Known for its curves, this road is nonetheless heavily used by commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks. Recently, this trucker noticed that his transmission failed just as he was heading down a hill toward a tight corner. As he started to pick up speed, he made the right call and used the truck runaway lane instead of trying to make the corner. If he had attempted to stay on the road, the truck would have likely rolled over.
Other than that, the best way to avoid a rollover is simple: Drive safely. If a truck avoids high speeds and takes corners in a controlled manner, there is no need to be worried about rollovers. The problem is that few truckers drive in a truly controlled manner – and rollovers are frequently the result. In California, it is important to establish negligence if you have been injured by a truck rollover accident. Your attorney can help you determine why a trucker might be to blame for causing the rollover crash.
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Semi-Truck Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced semi-truck accident attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured victims pursue compensation – including those who have been harmed in semi-truck accidents. We know how dangerous truck rollovers can be, and we can guide you toward the settlement you need and deserve. Your compensation can pay for your medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and any other damages you might have been forced to endure. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.