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Why do truck rollovers happen?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

As soon as you compare the size of the average commercial vehicle to the average passenger vehicle, it’s easy to understand the devastation that a crash with one of these trucks can cause.

Unfortunately, no matter how carefully you thread your way between big rigs out there, there’s nothing you can do to prevent a rollover.

What’s a rollover?

Rollover accidents are any situation where a truck overturns, whether that involves an actual, complete roll or just lands on its side. They’re particularly common on ramps and freeways where the speeds are higher and curves or hills are common.

When a large truck experiences a rollover, it can crush vehicles by its side and cause a chain-reaction crash from behind as other vehicles attempt to get out of the way. For that reason, they’re a particularly deadly type of truck wreck.

What causes them?

Generally speaking, the reason behind a truck rollover comes down to not planning ahead of time for the problems inherent in operating a vehicle with a high center of gravity. Rollovers happen because:

  • The driver takes a curve too fast. Excessive speed is definitely a factor in many rollover accidents. The centrifugal force involved as a truck goes around a curve too quickly on an on-ramp or off-ramp can easily lead to a crash.
  • The driver doesn’t recognize the wind danger. Experienced drivers know that high winds are a serious danger for high-profile vehicles. Even 30 mph winds can create problems, and driving a truck becomes deeply unsafe when those winds get much higher.
  • The driver is distracted. Long trips and the tremendous pressure of the job can lead to mental fatigue, and driving distractions are everywhere. Sometimes, a truck driver doesn’t realize that a bend in the road is that severe. Misjudging the curve can lead to a rollover.
  • The truck’s load isn’t properly distributed. Loading dock workers are supposed to make sure that a truck’s cargo is carefully distributed so that the truck isn’t weighed down on one side, which would increase the potential for a rollover.
  • The truck’s load isn’t properly secured. A load won’t stay evenly distributed when it’s not properly secured. A shifting load is one of the most common causes of a rollover.

Whatever the cause, if you’ve been injured in a rollover accident or a loved one was killed, the wisest thing you can do is to seek experienced legal guidance.