Common Causes of Truck Rollover Accidents

According to the Federal Register, 72 percent of fatal crashes in the United States involve large trucks with trailers. There are many causes of truck rollover accidents. Following are some of the common ones:

1) Operator error:

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 78 percent of rollovers in the United States involve driver error. Surprisingly, rollovers happen more often on straight roads than exit, or entrance ramps. FMCSA. The load, especially liquid substance, is ever shifting as a driver is driving on the road. A good truck driver will respond accordingly to shifting load and prevent a rollover. Like driver of any vehicle, unsafe behaviors, such as texting, alcohol use, driver fatigue, are also contributory factors of an operator error, which could lead to a rollover.

2) Speed:

According to the Federal Register, when a large vehicle approaches a curve and its speed is too high to safely make the curve, the vehicle’s chances to roll over increase because the stability to make the curve diminishes. Other factors such as the conditions of the road (ice, snow, rain, dry), and the weight and height of the load also are a factor in making a curve or turn. According to FMCSA, when a truck turns, its center of gravity shifts to the back of the truck, forcing the cargo or liquid in the truck to shift, resulting in a rollover. When approaching a curve, experts say that a truck should drop its speed 10 miles below the posted sign. In fact, speed limits are for passenger vehicles driving under good weather. A truck must always drive at a speed that is  responsive to the type of unit they are driving, and the road conditions.

3) Lane Changes:

Sudden lane changes caused by road rage, or failure to plan head could cause the vehicle to rollover; especially with a heavy cargo or liquid container. The shifting of the load could cause the truck to rollover. If it is a truck carrying liquid container, maneuvering the truck and making lane changes in a safe and slow manner is absolutely necessary as the liquid could easily move in a direction that could cause the truck to rollover. FMCSA.

4) Unsecured load:

Partial load or improper load distribution are main factors in truck rollovers. Over 94 percent of truck rollovers are caused due to partial loads, according to FMCSA. Along with securing the load, the weight of the load also affects the rollover. It is important to secure the load with proper restraints to prevent the load to shift, or fall off.

In an attempt to reduce rollover truck accidents, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety has proposed a new standard requiring “electronic stability control (ESC) systems on truck tractors and certain buses with a gross vehicle weight rating” of greater than 29,000 pounds. See Federal Register. Electronic Stability Control controls the understeering or oversteering, which lead to loss of control and ultimately a rollover. Once the ESC system is installed on all trucks, as proposed, rollovers are expected to reduce in percentage.

If you were injured as a result of a rollover truck accident, you want an experienced Arlington TX personal Injury attorney on your side.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into bankruptcy law.