Truck Rollovers – Causes and Myths
According to ATBS, a business and accounting firm for the trucking industry, there are three basic myths about truck rollovers that drivers, the industry, and the public should understand.
- Rollovers are largely caused by bad driving conditions. ATBS claims that:
- Under four percent of truck rollovers are caused by poor roads
- 56% of truck rollovers happen on straight roads – as opposed to curves and ramps
- Nearly two out of three truck rollovers occur while it’s light
- 93% of truck rollovers occur on roads that are dry
- Most rollovers ae due to excessive speed or reckless driving. According to ATBS, while speed is a major risk factor, over half of truck rollover accidents are due to other factors such as driver fatigue and distracted driving.
- It’s only the untrained or inexperienced drivers that have truck rollover accidents. ATBS states that:
- Nearly 2/3 of truck rollovers involved truck drivers who have been driving for more than 10 years
- Most truck rollovers happened when the driver is between 25 and 55
Truck rollovers are extremely dangerous. The drivers and cars who collide with them often die or suffer catastrophic injuries. Many truck rollover accidents are avoidable, provided they aren’t related to defective parts.
Why truck rollovers happen
Truck rollovers mostly occur for the following reasons:
- Driver error. Driver negligence causes ¾ of all truck rollover accidents. In nearly 90% of rollovers, some other event triggered the rollover. Common triggers include tiredness and inattention. Drivers who aren’t focused tend to drive off the road which causes the rollover. Other events include not turning correctly at an intersection, drifting onto the shoulder, and driving over a curb.
- Poor quality vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over half of all vehicles involved in a rollover had bad brakes or other poorly maintained or defective parts
- Inappropriate load size. Over 90% of cargo tank rollovers are due to partial loads. Drivers and truck companies need to understand how liquids move inside the tanker and how that movement can change the center of gravity of the truck.
Some ways to prevent or reduce rollovers
ATBS suggests that drivers:
- Slow down. Obey the speed limits and go extra-slow around corners
- Keep alert. If you’re tired, get off the road and get some rest or take a break. If you’re relying on coffee , open windows, or the radio, to stay awake, you’re headed for trouble. Obey the rest and sleep regulations.
- Don’t use your cellphone while driving. It’s against the laws in many states to text and drive. It’s dangerous to talk and drive – and may be illegal too.
- Inspect your truck before the trip. Routine inspections can help prevent deadly crashes
- Understand your truck. Each truck is different. Tankers are different than semis which are different than utility trucks
- Secure loads. Make sure loads don’t shift when you’re driving
Truck drivers and companies should always place safety before profits.
At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers have 105 years of combined experience fighting for the injured and their families. We’re respected for ability to help accident victims get the settlements or verdicts they deserve. To make an appointment with one of our trusted Oklahoma lawyers, please call 405-232-1212 or fill out our contact form today.
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Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More