In Phoenix, motorists in passenger cars face a significant risk of getting hurt if they become involved in a collision with a truck driver. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that 70 percent of people who die in large truck crashes are occupants of cars other than the truck. Truck drivers have a responsibility to try to protect passengers from being killed in truck collisions by operating their vehicles safely.

Trucks can get into all of the same types of collisions as any passenger car on the road. There are, however, three kinds of accidents that are either much more likely to happen in a truck or that can exclusively happen in a truck. Drivers need to be especially aware of these three kinds of crashes and must take extra precautions to prevent them because they can be among the deadliest of all truck accidents in Arizona.

Preventing Three High-Risk Types of Truck Accidents

One of the high risk types of truck accidents that truck drivers need to try to prevent is rollover accidents. Any car can rollover, but trucks are much more likely to roll over than typical passenger vehicles or even than SUVs. Trucks have a greater likelihood of rolling over because the vehicles can be top-heavy and because trucks have a high center of gravity. In many cases, trucks also aren’t loaded properly and have unbalanced loads, which makes them even more likely to rollover.

A paper from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that rollover accidents make up about 18 percent of collisions involving large trucks.  Death is more likely in rollover accidents than in many other types of crashes. About 35 percent of fatal truck accidents are rollovers, which is a disproportionately high percentage compared with the total number of rollover collisions.  Truck drivers could prevent many of these crashes by balancing loads and by traveling more slowly, especially around curves where centrifugal force can cause a truck to try to lean away from the curve.

Another high risk type of crash is underride accidents. These happen in situations where cars end up going underneath the body of a truck, usually from the back but sometimes from the side. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety  indicated that out of 1000 truck crashes studied, only 22 percent didn’t involve an underride situation occurring.  Prevention involves the use of effective underride guards on the back and side of trucks.

Finally, a third type of high risk truck accident is a jackknife accident. Wikihow explains that these accidents happen when a trailer skids and goes out to the side, sometimes coming around to hit the tractor that was towing it before the skid happened. Drivers can lose control of their vehicle. Prevention of jackknife accidents involves keeping brakes in good condition, avoiding deceleration or hitting the brakes quickly when going down hill or around a curve, and being careful on slippery surfaces.