Semi-trucks, also called tractor-trailers or big-rigs, can weigh up to 40 tons. These 18-wheeled behemoths are an essential part of our economy, moving many of the goods and materials we rely on every day. Their size and design are primarily based on efficiency, but where safety is concerned, they leave a lot to be desired. Large trucks are particularly susceptible to a type of wreck known as a rollover in which the trailer tips onto its side or flips upside down.
Of course, cars and SUVs are also involved in rollover accidents — in many cases, for the same reasons. When a truck rolls over, however, the entire roadway can be blocked, leading to massive pileups and casualties.
Many rollover accidents are tripped, meaning that they occur because a tire hits something like a curb or gets stuck in soft soil. This type of rollover occurs in all types of vehicles, as do accidents caused by blown-out tires.
Other causes of rollover accidents are unique to top-heavy trucks. Swerving to avoid an obstacle in the road is much more likely to tip over an SUV or a semi-truck than a car because these vehicles have a higher center of gravity.
Trucks also experience rollover accidents due to problems with loading. When cargo is not balanced properly by the shipping company or by the truck driver loading the trailer, one side of the truck may be much heavier than the other. This makes it much easier for a truck to tip over. Similarly, when cargo is not properly restrained in a trailer, it can shift during transit. Load-shift immediately moves a truck’s center of gravity. When this occurs during a turn or while swerving, the vehicle is especially likely to roll over.
If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle on the roads of Florida, the truck accident attorneys at the Bradenton firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh can help you understand your rights under the law.