10 Types of Truck Accidents All Drivers Need to Know


No matter where you are in Missouri or Illinois, a commercial truck delivering goods is likely driving alongside you. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 13 percent of all major U.S. roadway crashes are a result of at least one commercial truck or bus. Additionally, the departments of transportation from Missouri and Illinois recently released data showing fatal truck accidents have increased in both states. 

While essential to our economy, trucks also pose a significant risk for serious personal injuries. As Missouri and Illinois truck accident attorneys, we believe that informing our drivers about trucking accidents is important for their safety. To help drivers, our attorneys compiled the following 10 types of truck accidents:

1. Jackknife 

A jackknife truck accident is caused by too much braking or cornering. When this happens, the trailer will swing around at a 90 degree angle towards the tractor. Oftentimes, the truck may cross several lanes of traffic and cause a multiple car collision. Jackknife accidents may happen at any time of the year, but there is an increased risk for these types of truck accidents during inclement weather when a driver has a higher risk of braking hard on a slick surface and losing control of his or her vehicle. 

2. Rollover 

As one of the most terrifying trucking accidents to experience, a rollover occurs when a driver takes too sharp of a turn or drives too fast — causing the truck to flip and roll onto its side. A rollover accident is not only dangerous to the driver of the truck, but also for any smaller cars that might be in its path as it flips or crosses into other lanes of traffic. 

In many cases, a rollover is due to the negligence of the driver. Truck accident attorneys will often help victims seek compensation for truck driver negligence from speeding, driving while fatigued or operating the truck while under the influence. Rollover accidents may also occur due to the negligence of cargo crews who cause an uneven weight distribution within the trailer.

3. Tire Blowout

As you drive along the highway, you might see pieces of tires scattered along the side of the road or on the highway after an unexpected tire blowout. While common, tire blowouts may result in serious truck accidents from not only tire debris but also from the driver’s loss of control. 

Truck drivers must be attentive to the state of their tires and have them checked regularly for maintenance after long journeys. If they do not, they or their trucking company may be held liable for the injuries you received from the tire hitting your vehicle or causing the accident. 

4. Blind Spot

Semi-trucks are longer and heavier than most vehicles — making their blind spots much larger than a standard passenger car. Often called “no zones”, a truck’s blind spots are located on the right middle, left middle and rear areas.

As truck accident attorneys, we advise drivers to make sure they have visibility of the truck driver in his or her mirror, or adjust their spacing accordingly so they will be able to see the vehicle. Additionally, truck drivers must check their mirrors regularly and know what’s going on in the lane next to them before merging to avoid a potential collision. 

5. Rear-End

Semi-trucks need more time and distance to slow down or make adequate turns compared to regular vehicles. Because of their weight and height, commercial vehicles involved in rear-end truck accidents may lead to serious personal injuries from the additional force exerted against a smaller vehicle. 

This type of accident is a common result of negligent acts by truck drivers such as speeding, driving while fatigued, carrying too much weight, or driving while intoxicated. If a truck driver commits one of these negligent acts, the driver and/or the truck driving company may be held liable for your injuries in a rear-end collision. 

6. Underride

Considered to be one of the most fatal truck accidents, an underride accident occurs when a smaller vehicle gets lodged beneath a large truck. These types of truck accidents come in two forms: side underride collisions or rear underride collisions. 

A side underride may happen after a truck driver turns onto a street or makes a U-turn and does not see a smaller car in their path. A rear underride occurs when a passenger vehicle collides with the rear of a tractor trailer and runs under the truck. Oftentimes, in an underride collision, the roof of the passenger car will shear off and seriously injure or kill the driver. If a truck stops abruptly in front of a smaller car and the small vehicle goes beneath the truck, the truck driver may be held responsible for the collision. 

7. Unsecured Cargo

The last thing drivers expect is a truck’s cargo landing in front of them or on top of their vehicle while they are driving. However, these circumstances do occur, especially if a truck driver neglects to properly secure his or her cargo. 

According to FMCSA, drivers have a duty to make sure the load they are transporting is properly stored, secured and sealed before beginning their journey. If drivers neglect to check their load and the load shifts, causing an accident, they may be held responsible for your injuries. Additionally, you may also be able to file a lawsuit against the trucking company for their failure to properly instruct the driver on FMCSA regulations

8. Head On

A head-on collision is another one of the most catastrophic types of truck accidents where a large truck and another car or truck will collide front to front. Most head-on collisions with trucks will occur at stop signs, red lights or when making wide turns, causing serious injuries such as head injuries, neck and back injuries, broken bones, burns, paralysis and even death.  

9. Wide Turn

A right-hand turn in a semi-truck is much tighter or sharper than a left hand turn because the rear wheels of the trailer do not follow the same path as the front wheels. Truck drivers must exercise extreme caution with their turns by using a button hook turn rather than a jug handle turn

A button hook turn is the proper way to make a wide turn by keeping the wheels as close to the curb as possible and swinging wide after beginning the turn. Conducting an improper jug handle turn often leads to more trucking accidents since the truck swings into the right hand lane before beginning a right turn. Truck drivers must adhere to their training and conduct the proper turns to ensure the safety of themselves and other drivers around them. If not, they may be held liable in a truck accident lawsuit. 

10. T-Bone 

T-bone collisions happen when a vehicle fails to stop and hits the side of another vehicle. Frequently, these types of truck accidents are a direct result of speeding through an intersection, making an improper turn or running a red light. When a truck is involved in a t-bone collision, it can be catastrophic for a smaller vehicle, especially if a passenger was seated on the side of impact — causing severe catastrophic injuries or fatalities. 

Move Forward with Trusted Missouri and Illinois Truck Accident Attorneys

Trucking accidents tend to leave lasting changes in their wake — both physically and emotionally. As truck accident attorneys, we understand that an unexpected injury may set you back, but we are here to help you determine the accountable parties in your case. Our attorneys will stand at your side for all types of truck accidents and help you navigate the best path to rightful compensation. 
If you experienced a trucking accident in Missouri or Illinois, get in touch with MHM for a free consultation to plan the next step for your case.