We rely on commercial cargo carriers to transport everything from food to furniture. Anytime you enter the highway, you will see many of these commercial trucks driving right next to you. The commercial trucking companies are responsible for training their drivers to stay safe while they are driving. Still, sometimes accidents do happen. A truck rollover is one of the most dangerous types of accidents on the road. Given the size and weight of a truck, when they roll over, the driver completely loses control and every other vehicle nearby is in serious danger.
Rollover accidents can cause widespread damage and injuries. If you suffered injuries in a rollover crash, please contact the Chicago injury lawyers of Abels & Annes, P.C., as soon as possible.
How a Rollover Happens
Trucks are some of the largest vehicles on the road, so any collision involving a truck can result in serious injuries or fatalities. A truck rollover accident happens when the wheels of the truck lose contact with the pavement. This causes the truck to roll over on its side. Because trucks have a high center of gravity, they are prone to tipping over in certain conditions. A rollover is especially common when a truck is driving through a sharp curve or in bad weather.
Causes of a Rollover Truck Accident
Most people assume that because truck drivers are trained professionals, they are some of the safest drivers on the road. While that may be true in some cases, there are always exceptions to that rule. Sometimes, an inexperienced or careless driver will fail to slow down when entering a sharp turn in the road. Other times, even the most experienced and careful driver can’t anticipate a sudden thunderstorm that results in the truck hydroplaning. Some of the most common causes of truck rollovers include:
- Rough weather – When the roads are slick and visibility is low, the likelihood of a rollover accident increases. Losing control of a large truck due to poor weather conditions is incredibly dangerous for everyone on the road.
- Tired drivers – Truck drivers are required by law to take breaks after a set number of hours on the road, but some drivers ignore these rules. Drowsy drivers are especially dangerous. Overcorrecting is common with tired drivers and can lead to a rollover.
- Improperly loaded cargo – The distribution of weight is essential in keeping a truck upright. If a truck is loaded incorrectly, with much of the weight distributed on one side, a rollover is much more likely to happen.
- Inexperienced drivers – As with anything, experience is key when driving a large commercial vehicle. Even drivers who received proper training and understand the rules of the road might not be able to respond correctly or fast enough in certain situations. These drivers might be more likely to push the boundaries of safety, as well, since they are not as familiar with the consequences. Inexperienced drivers can lead to serious rollover accidents.
These are just some of the factors that can lead to a truck rollover accident. After this type of accident, first call 911 to report what happened and seek immediate medical attention. Even if you don’t think you are seriously hurt, certain symptoms take awhile to present. This is especially true with concussions and other types of traumatic brain injuries. It is always better to confirm the severity of your injuries with a doctor as soon as you can.
The Dangers of a Drowsy Driver
All truck drivers are required by law to stop driving and rest after a certain amount of time on the road. The hours of service rules describe the number of consecutive hours a driver can stay on the road, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes and enforces these rules. Trucking companies are responsible for training their drivers and enforcing these hours of service. Although all commercial drivers should be aware of their legal and physical limits, some still choose to push through in the attempt to deliver their cargo faster when actually, they really should pull off the road. When a driver ignores their hours of service and opts to continue on the road even when they tired, that is when dangerous rollover accidents can happen.
By understanding how to recognize the signs of a drowsy driver you can help to avoid an accident. Here are some of the warning signals to watch for:
- Trucks that are driving either far below or above the speed limit – This indicates the driver isn’t paying attention to the traffic signs.
- Trucks that are swerving in and out of their lane – One of the largest dangers of a drowsy truck driver is their tendency to overcorrect when they realize they are drifting out of their lane.
- Trucks that change lanes without signaling – This is another sign that the driver isn’t paying attention. They might not even realize they have changed lanes.
- Trucks that don’t slow down around tight turns – A sharp curve in the road is one of the most dangerous places for a truck driver to speed through. When drivers don’t pay attention to the curves and turns in the road, a rollover accident is much more likely to happen.
If you recognize any of these signs and believe that a truck driver should not be on the road, it is important to pass them quickly. If you cannot do so safely, move off the road until they have passed and call the highway patrol to report the dangerous driver. By doing so, you could prevent a serious accident from happening.
Call a Chicago Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Going through the experience of a truck rollover accident can be traumatic for all involved. If you’ve suffered injuries in this type of accident, it is advisable to speak with an experienced Chicago attorney. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our legal team is dedicated to fighting for our clients’ rights to fair compensation. We understand the legal system when it comes to personal injury. Call us today at (312) 924-7575 to schedule a free consultation. We will review the details of your case and answer any questions you might have. You can also contact us online.