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Leading Causes of Truck Rollover Accidents

Leading Causes of Truck Rollover AccidentsHuman error is one of the most common causes of truck rollover accidents. Determining the cause of a rollover accident is critical because it directly impacts a victim’s ability to recover compensation. While you don’t need to become an expert on rollover truck accidents in California, it’s helpful to understand the basics.

If you sustained injuries in a truck accident due to a rollover, or any other cause, don’t hesitate to contact us. D’Amore Law Group will use its deep knowledge and extensive experience representing victims of truck accidents to provide the guidance you need.

What Is a Rollover Accident?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the federal agency that regulates commercial vehicles, defines a truck rollover as the overturn of a large commercial vehicle. Rollovers include crashes where trucks roll one or more vehicle quarter turns on their longitudinal axis. This can result in the truck overturning onto its side. 

A truck’s higher center of gravity significantly increases the likelihood of overturning. Tall vehicles, such as 18-wheelers, are more prone to toppling over because their weight is centered higher above the ground than passenger cars. In a recent year, individuals reported more than 17,000 truck rollover accidents. Truck rollovers account for 4% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks and 3% of all nonfatal crashes involving large trucks. 

Causes of Rollover Truck Accidents

A truck driver’s negligence is the most common cause of truck rollover accidents. FMCSA states almost 80% of truck rollover accidents involve driver error. Let’s discuss some of the most common driver errors.

Excessive Speed on Curved Roads

Drivers can misjudge the speed required to navigate a curve safely. And when truck drivers fail to adjust speed for curves on highways or interstate ramps, there’s an increased risk of a rollover. When schedules are tight, or a driver is otherwise impatient, they can fail to adjust their speed to meet the road conditions.

Truck Driver Inattention

Driver inattention, in any form, causes a majority of truck rollover accidents. Driver inattention can include the following:

  • Distracted driving,
  • Truck driver fatigue
  • Overly-aggressive driving, or 
  • “Daydreaming” while driving. 

With driver inattention, the driver may oversteer to stay on the road. Inattentive truck drivers often fail to recognize and properly react to road conditions that require sudden adjustments. 

Errors in Controlling the Truck

The failure to properly control the truck, such as unsafe steering, is another common cause of rollover accidents. Poor driving may cause the truck to travel out of its lane on the roadway. Or, the driver may suddenly overcorrect and turn too much in one direction. When this happens, they turn the wheel in the other direction to compensate, jeopardizing the truck’s stability. Poor reaction to other drivers, not downshifting to decrease speed, and improper braking are also driver errors that lead to rollover accidents.

Other Drivers

Truck driver negligence is a common cause of rollovers. But other drivers on the road can also cause a truck rollover accident. Passenger vehicle drivers can make quick and erratic maneuvers that force truck drivers to make sudden moves to avoid a collision. Such sudden moves can cause a truck to roll over. 

In addition to driver errors, vehicle-related issues also cause truck rollovers. These vehicle-related issues include the following: 

    • Improper loading and securing of cargo. Rollovers can be caused by improperly loaded cargo placed on the truck before the driver takes possession.
    • Poorly maintained brakes or suspension. The sudden failure of brakes or suspension can lead to truck rollover accidents.
    • Component part failures. Failure of component parts, such as a steering mechanism or a real axle fail, can result in truck rollover accidents. 
  • Tire blowouts and other tire failures. When a tire failure occurs suddenly with no warning, the driver might not have time to react properly. This can lead to truck rollovers.

As seen above, driver error is not the only rollover cause. Vehicle-related issues can also cause truck rollovers. 

Truck Rollover Accidents Cause Severe Injury

When a truck accident results in injuries, accident victims are more at risk of severe injury due to the sheer size differential. More weight translates into a greater force exerted on the smaller vehicle during a collision. Truck rollovers often lead to severe injuries, including the following: 

  • Head and brain injuries,
  • Neck injuries,
  • Spinal cord injuries,
  • Amputations,
  • Back injuries, and 
  • Burns. 

If you suffered injuries after a truck rollover accident, you could have a compensation claim against multiple parties.

Who Is Liable for a Truck Rollover?

Hiring an attorney for a truck accident is of critical importance. An attorney will typically conduct an accident investigation to identify the underlying cause of the accident and the potentially responsible party or parties. Depending on the circumstances of the case, any number of parties could be liable. 

Determining liability is a complex task that requires an attorney with extensive experience in litigating truck cases. Your attorney must have the resources and skills to do the following:

  • Conduct investigations,
  • Consult with experts,
  • Negotiate with insurance companies,
  • Address issues of negligence, and
  • Take the case to trial if that becomes necessary.

An experienced truck accident attorney will help you to achieve the most favorable outcome. The FMCSA issues rules and regulations that drivers must follow, covering areas such as: 

When a driver fails to uphold FMCSA regulations, your attorney can use this fact to strengthen your case. The severity of your injuries, the defendant’s ability to pay, and a strong liability case all play a significant factor in determining the overall value of your case. 

D’Amore Law Group Can Help with Your Commercial Truck Accident Case

D’Amore Law Group has been representing accident victims since 1994. Our founder, Tom D’Amore, is a board-certified truck accident attorney, and our legal team has extensive experience representing victims of truck accidents. We will use our skills, knowledge, and resources to ensure that we fulfill the role of your trusted advisor and staunch advocate. Our compassionate and dedicated legal team will fight for your legal rights efficiently and effectively as we work to get you the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us online or call today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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