The dangers of tractor-trailer accidents

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2018 | motor vehicle accidents

Getting into an accident with a tractor-trailer is scary and often life-threatening. These types of vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, which would cause a devastating crash.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that there were just shy of 4,000 fatalities resulting from tractor-trailer collisions in 2016, with 66 percent of those being passenger-vehicle occupants. What types of tractor-trailer accidents should you watch out for?

Rear-end collision

It can take a long time as well as a lot of space for a tractor-trailer to come to a complete stop. If you are traveling in front of a large truck and need to hard-brake, say for another car in front of you or a red light, the truck may not have enough time to stop before rear-ending you.


A jackknife accident occurs when the trailer swings out to the side of the truck. These accidents occur most often due to weather conditions, or excessive speeding. Typically, jackknife accidents end in a rollover, which can be particularly deadly to any surrounding vehicles. If a semi-truck were to jackknife, or roll over, into another vehicle, the results could be catastrophic.

Runaway trailer

A runaway trailer accident means that the trailer becomes unattached from the rest of the vehicle or goes out of control. These accidents occur due to speeding or quick turns and can be a disastrous to other cars on the road.

These accidents can happen without warning and they are not always avoidable. Making sure to stay alert when sharing the road with tractor-trailers as well as giving them space can help you stay safe.