Truck rollovers are a common and preventable type large truck accident. Even so, many fatal large truck accidents in Illinois occur when large trucks roll over. Many are the result of human errors such as overloading or improver loading that make the vehicle unstable and unsafe for travel down the road.
Causes of Large Truck Rollovers
Improper loading or overloading of the trailer is a common cause of large truck rollovers. This can change the vehicle’s center of gravity which can make it difficult for the driver to control the vehicle. Many times this is the fault of the shipper loading the trailer. However, it is still the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the cargo has been properly loaded and secured.
Improper acceleration and failure to properly consider the weight of the cargo when maneuvering around curves or corners is another common factor in rollover truck crashes. Drivers who speed or attempt to take a curve or corner tighter beyond acceptable tolerances can shift the balance of the vehicle and roll over without warning.
Poorly maintained vehicles can also roll over with ease. Brakes that lock up, tires that blow, and axles that break can all cause a large truck to topple over. Many times, the types of failures occur when the vehicle is in motion at normal speed. When these failures happen, it can cause the vehicle to topple onto other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians.
Driver Behaviors and Rollover Crashes
Driver behaviors often contribute to large truck accidents. Texting while driving, driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, driving too fast for conditions, drowsy driving, and failure to adhere to posted speed limits are frequently cited contributing causes to large truck rollover accidents. Each of these negligent behaviors can cause a driver to lose control over the vehicle.
Of all contributing driver factors, speeding is the most common and most dangerous. Nearly 45% of large truck rollovers examined in the Large Truck Crash Causation Study involved speed-related causes. These include speeding too fast for circumstances and disobeying posted speed limits. Often, speeding truck drivers take curves at excessive speed, misjudge the speed at which it is safe to maneuver the vehicle around corners or into passing lanes. At speed, drivers may also miss posted road signs or put excessive pressure on brake systems that can result in brake failure and a subsequent rollover.