Sideswipe Truck Collisions
Sideswipe collisions occur when two vehicles are traveling in the same direction next to each other and they collide. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are between 900 and 1,000 fatal sideswipe collisions annually. In worst case scenarios, a sideswipe collision may result in a rollover, while in some cases neither vehicle (or driver) sustains major damage. However, when a sideswipe collision involves a large truck, the smaller passenger vehicle is often pushed off the road or out of the lane entirely, resulting in a rollover or secondary collision with another vehicle or fixed object along the roadside, such as a telephone pole or concrete barrier. Sideswipe collisions with trucks are all too common, given the weight and, more importantly, the length of semi trucks.
Why Sideswipe Collisions With Trucks Happen in the First Place
The average length of a semi-tractor trailer and cab is 70 to 80 feet, according to the Advanced Technology Institute. This is around five times longer than the average sedan. This long length and extra weight mean that:
- Truck drivers have less visibility to the sides and rear of their vehicles;
- Trucks that take up five or more car lengths have fewer opportunities to change lanes in heavy traffic due to space constraints;
- Trucks take longer to change lanes, which causes confusion among other road users when truck drivers fail to use turn signals (a passenger vehicle may drive up on the side of a truck that is slowly changing lanes without a turn signal, unaware that the truck driver has initiated a lane change); and
- When a truck hits a passenger vehicle during a sideswipe collision, the damage to the passenger vehicle, due to the mass of the truck, is much greater than if two passenger vehicles hit one another.
Dangerous Large Truck Sideswipe Scenarios
- Truck Merges Onto the Highway—The truck does not have enough room to change lanes before the on ramp lane ends, so simply starts coming over slowly whether or not another vehicle is there or not.
- Truck Changes Lane by Just Drifting Over—Truck driver may or may not use the turn signal, but for whatever reason does not yield to passenger vehicles that are passing or driving at the same speed next to the truck. This may be caused by the truck driver’s distraction, aggression, impatience, or inattention.
- Truck Driver Falls Asleep at the Wheel—During high winds, rough roads, driver distraction, or simply due to the truck driver falling asleep at the wheel, the truck shifts into an adjacent lane and hits a passenger vehicle. Drowsy driving and falling asleep at the wheel is a serious problem among truck drivers due to the long, monotonous hours they spend on the road.
Reach Out to the Orlando Truck Collision Attorneys of the Payer Law
Drivers who were sideswiped by large trucks need experienced legal assistance to win their personal injury cases. These types of cases often devolve when the truck driver falsely claims that he or she did use their turn signal and had the right of way, and that the passenger vehicle driver sped up alongside and cut them off. To talk to an attorney who will fight for the truth, call the Orlando truck accident attorneys with Payer Law today at 407-307-2979 to schedule a free consultation.