Top 5 Causes of Truck Accidents in Colorado

semi truck after roll over accident

Colorado Truck Accident Attorney

Knowing what causes truck accidents in Colorado can help you be prepared and stay safer on the road.

Trucks form the backbone of American commerce. At any given moment, there are some 3 million trucks on the road, carrying all sorts of goods from one place to another. While there is no denying that these vehicles and their drivers perform an essential service, it is also important to keep in mind how dangerous an accident with one of these trucks can be. It is especially worth noting that, of all fatalities involved in semi truck accidents, 70 percent involve the passengers and drivers of the other car-not the truck. 

The size, weight, and skilled driving required to operate trailer trucks makes them more susceptible to certain types of accidents. We have listed the top causes of truck accidents in Colorado to help you know what to look out for when sharing the road with these vehicles. 

Why Do Trucks Crash?

1. Roll-Overs

A vehicle rollover occurs when the car or truck swerves and rolls over onto its side or roof. Trucks, in particular, are more vulnerable to something called an “untripped” rollover. Untripped rollovers happen as the trailer is rounding a corner and the combined forces of inertia and tire force overcome the force of gravity. 

A rollover may also be “tripped,” meaning it was caused by a collision with another object or vehicle. This is more common with smaller vehicles, however. In trucks, the weight of the cargo and its even distribution is key in avoiding rollovers. The driver must also be skilled and avoid taking turns too sharply or quickly. A sudden loss of pressure in one of the tires from a blowout may also cause a rollover. 

Rollover accidents are especially dangerous for the driver, who can sustain serious injuries due to the force of both the initial impact and the trauma of the vehicle in unnatural motion. 

2. Rear End Collisions

A rear end collision happens when a car or truck crashes into the vehicle directly in front of it. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Failure to slow down in time
  • Distracted driving
  • Driver fatigue
  • Brakes failure
  • Tire blowout
  • Hazardous road conditions
  • Ice and snow
  • Reduced visibility 
  • Following too closely

Ice and snow are of particular concern for truck drivers in Colorado.

As you might guess, rear end collisions involving a semi truck can have devastating consequences. Not only is the truck much heavier, it will take it much longer to come to a stop once the collision occurs. This makes rear end collisions with trucks one of the more deadly types of automobile accidents. 

3. T-Bone Collisions

We often think of trucks as operating on the highway, but they frequently unload goods within towns and cities. This means they are susceptible to accidents that occur due to the disregard of traffic lights, signs, and signals. (Colorado has some unusual traffic laws that drivers should be aware of to help avoid accidents as well).  

T-bone accidents, for example, tend to occur at intersections. When a driver speeds through a red light or ignores a stop sign, they may collide with the side of a vehicle that has the right of way. The impact forms a “t-shape.” Likewise, a driver may decide to turn left on a red light and oncoming traffic will hit the side of his or her vehicle, but on the passenger side. 

Whatever the reason, t-bone accidents are exceptionally dangerous because they hinder the flow of traffic and, like other truck accidents, can involve multiple cars. 

4. Head On Collisions

Head-on collisions are the result of a vehicle colliding with the front of another vehicle. This usually occurs when a car somehow swerves into oncoming traffic and does not get out of the way in time to avoid hitting another car. 

For many of us, this situation sounds unthinkable. But it can and does occur, especially if the driver is intoxicated or falls asleep at the wheel. Truck accidents like this can also happen in Colorado due to poor visibility from extreme weather, like hailstorms or blizzard conditions. Just like rear end collisions involving a truck, head on collisions are significantly more damaging when a large trailer is involved. Unfortunately, the direct impact to the driver of the other vehicle, combined with the additional time needed for the vehicles to come to a stop, often leads to fatal outcomes. 

5. Jackknife Accidents in Colorado

Proper braking is essential when driving a truck. Certain types of trucks implement articulated joints to attach a truck to its trailer, giving them enhanced maneuverability. This also means that the trailer has greater potential to lose control if the truck stops suddenly, or the driver attempts an unsafe turn. 

When a truck driver fails to brake safely, a trailer attached with this type of mechanism can swing outward and away from the truck, much like a folding jackknife. The out-of-control trailer can swipe into vehicles and cause pile up accidents by cars attempting to avoid colliding into it. 

Related: Do You Need a Lawyer After a Truck Accident?

Hire a Truck Accident Attorney 

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Colorado, contact an attorney as soon as possible. The injuries and property damage sustained in these types of accidents is significantly greater than many other types of motor vehicle accidents. Determining fault can also be more complicated, since the cause may be due to multiple factors (driver error, faulty manufacturing, poor training, etc.) An experienced truck accident attorney can help you seek fair compensation for your injuries while you focus on recovery.

Dave Roth with the Roth Group is a top Denver truck accident attorney. Dave is a highly skilled, compassionate attorney who advocates for his clients both in and out of the courtroom. Call or go online to schedule your free consultation today.