TYPES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN RHODE ISLAND
Semi trucks are large, heavy, and hard to maneuver, with tall trailers that can create serious hazards if mishandled. A semi truck accident can cause significant bodily damage, severe injury, and even death. Understand the various types of truck accidents in Rhode Island to protect yourself on the road. If you suffered an injury from a truck accident, find out how the personal injury lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush fight for you to seek compensation.
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Rhode Island is notorious for its heavy traffic. Major commercial thoroughfares crisscross the state, carrying goods up and down the eastern seaboard. All this traffic makes it extra important to be mindful of semi trucks on the road.
Semi truck drivers working toward a deadline can easily find themselves on congested Rhode Island roadways with other equally stressed drivers. Poor decisions from incautious, aggressive, or distracted drivers cause many types of truck accidents in Rhode Island.
Rollovers are common types of truck accidents. In a rollover, the trailer becomes off-balance and tips, taking the truck cab with it.
A report from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine states that most rollovers occur when a semi truck driver turns a corner too quickly or drives too fast over an uneven surface. Inattention and oversteering can also lead to rollovers. A rollover accident can cause catastrophic injuries to the semi truck operator, passengers, and people nearby.
Usually, a semi truck tows the trailer behind it on a trailer hitch. When the truck stops or swerves suddenly without slowing enough, the rear of the trailer can swing around on the hitch, bringing the trailer alongside the truck in a jackknife accident.
A trailer could also jackknife in inclement weather where slippery road conditions cause the trailer’s tires to lose traction. Jackknife accidents can wreak havoc on Rhode Island’s busy roadways, as the trailer can slide across the entire width of the road, striking nearby vehicles and people.
In an underride accident, a smaller passenger vehicle drives under the semi truck’s tall trailer, causing significant damage and injury to those inside the smaller vehicle. Such accidents occur when a truck stops or changes direction suddenly, and the other driver doesn’t have time to react.
Underride collisions also happen when passenger car drivers follow too closely, drive in the truck’s blind spot, or fail to leave room for a truck to turn at an intersection. Underride accidents can be exacerbated if the truck stops suddenly and the vehicle behind them is struck from behind by another car.
An override accident occurs when a tractor-trailer drives over a smaller vehicle in front of it. Overrides happen when the vehicle ahead of a semi truck suddenly stops, and the truck driver can stop in time before hitting the vehicle in front of them. The speed and force of the heavy load can force the semi truck over the top of the other vehicle, crushing it in the process.
Override accidents can happen when truck operators follow another vehicle too closely or ignore slowing traffic. They may also occur when a passenger vehicle cuts off a semi truck and stops suddenly without giving the truck driver time to slow down.
A semi truck’s no-zones are the blind spots where drivers cannot see other vehicles, even with the assistance of mirrors. These no-zones exist next to, behind, and in front of semi trucks.
When a car merges into or drives in a no-zone, the truck driver cannot see them. Truck operators try to change lanes, turn, or change speed without realizing that a vehicle is in the way. While some truck drivers use warning systems and cameras to monitor blind spots, other drivers can still protect themselves from no-zone accidents by avoiding blind spots entirely.
OVERLOADED TRUCK ACCIDENT
Semi trucks are designed to carry large loads, sometimes over long distances. An overloaded truck is more difficult to maneuver and takes longer to stop, placing other drivers and passengers on the road at higher risk of accident and injury. Overloaded vehicles are also more likely to tip or roll, especially if the load is inadequately secured.
Federal and state governments have established specific truck size and weight limits to ensure the safety of the truck operator and other drivers sharing the roads.
While federal law dictates the size and weight limits of semi trucks on interstate highways, some states create weight and size exemptions for specific vehicle types and uses. Rhode Island laws for size, weight, and load limits differ from federal law, which may affect the safety of drivers across the state.
WHAT CAN CAUSE TRUCK ACCIDENTS?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, many truck accidents are preventable. In fact, the most common cause of motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks is poor decision making on the truck driver’s part. Common causes of truck accidents include:
- Speeding or driving too fast for the conditions
- Misjudging the speed of other vehicles
- Following too closely
- Inattentive driving
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Lack of training and experience
- Unfamiliarity with roadway
- Obstructions or poor road conditions
- Brake problems
- Drug or alcohol use
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a truck accident due to someone else’s negligence, you could seek compensation for the losses you endured. Damages you could pursue after a truck accident include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Long-term medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that more than 4,000 people died in truck accidents in 2020. Of those deaths, 68 percent were people in passenger vehicles. Since trucks can be 20 to 30 times heavier than standard passenger vehicles, collisions with semi trucks are more likely to cause catastrophic injury and death than collisions with passenger vehicles.
If you lost a loved one in a truck accident, you could pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. A Rhode Island wrongful death attorney can help you recover funeral and burial expenses, lost income, medical bills, and compensation for pain and suffering following the death of a loved one.
CONTACT TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYER AT MARASCO & NESSELBUSH TODAY
The resulting injuries from semi truck accidents could leave you with long-term health issues and impairments. The inability to work or conduct your normal daily activities can compromise your overall quality of life.
You do not have to pay for losses caused by someone else’s negligence. A truck accident attorney in Rhode Island can help you navigate the claim process and seek the compensation you deserve from the responsible party.
As one of Rhode Island’s preeminent injury firms, Marasco & Nesselbush has built a reputation for outstanding representation on behalf of injury clients throughout Rhode Island. Contact our expert personal injury attorneys today for a free case review and advice about your best legal options. We represent our clients on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing until and unless we win your case.
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If you think you may have a truck accident case, contact us now for a FREE consultation