There are many different causes of truck accidents, rollovers being a significant one. Rollovers, which is when a truck loses its balance and either the trailer or the truck itself flips over, can happen for a variety of reasons. The damage and injuries these big rig wrecks cause can be devastating, as well; however, these kinds of 18-wheeler accidents are usually preventable. Avoiding them requires an understanding of how they happen, and what drivers need to do to prevent them.
What Happens in A Rollover?
Rollover truck accidents are what can happen when a big rig becomes unbalanced or unstable in some way, and either the trailer, or the truck itself, flips to one side. Trucks may end up on their sides, or they can actually roll completely over. Rollovers are extremely dangerous, both for the driver inside the truck, who can be crushed as it rolls, and other cars that are around the truck, as they can be hit or crushed.
How Do Rollovers Happen?
There are many ways in which big rigs and large trucks can rollover; but the events that create these conditions are always the same. A rollover wreck requires the truck to somehow lose balance in a way that the force of gravity keeps any momentum going until that unbalanced truck leans beyond the point of recovery, and flips. Tractor-trailers, and any vehicles that are heavy and tall and have a high center of gravity, which is the point where the bulk of a vehicle’s weight is carried, are most susceptible to rolling over.
When the weight of a vehicle is lower, it takes more of an effort to unbalance it. Vehicles such as big rigs, where loads are above the wheels and cabs are up higher, are more easily unbalanced. Loss of balance can happen from going around a curve too fast for the size and weight of the rig, rolling tires over a curb or off the pavement, and particularly from shifting cargo. Even high winds can cause a significant enough shift for a rollover accident to occur. Essentially, anything that causes the gravitational pull on the vehicle to change to the point where there is too much downward momentum can cause a rollover.
Preventing Big Rig Rollovers
The most important aspect in preventing big rig wrecks caused by rollovers is understanding what causes a rollover, and how to prevent these conditions. Drivers must exercise extreme caution when making turns, driving on slippery roads and roads with soft shoulders, or driving over a curb. Properly securing loads so they cannot shift is another extremely important factor in preventing rollovers, as is keeping tanker trucks full to prevent sloshing. If filling tankers completely is not possible, drivers must take this into consideration and drive much slower than usual to prevent sloshing. Also, sudden lane changes or quick steering maneuvers can cause heavy trucks to lose balance and roll over.
Through careful training, and with a thorough understanding of the dynamics of a rollover, truck drivers can prevent these type of 18-wheeler accidents. Of all the ways truck accidents occur, rollover accidents happen the fastest, but are commonly the most preventable. Cautious driving that considers things such as weather, road conditions and construction, as well as careful load preparation, are key in reducing big rig wrecks, and the injuries and physical damage that come with them!
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190