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Truck Rollover Risk Factors

Want to know more about truck rollover risk factors? We share how these overturn accidents involving trucks occur so you can avoid a crash like this.

Each year, around 4-9% of truck accidents that occur nationwide in the U.S. are of the rollover variety, depending on whether you go with statistics published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also matters whether you also figure in what are referred to as overturn accidents, which account for at least 2% of annual truck collisions.

As you may suspect, truck rollover risk factors are quite varied. Below, we’ll explore some of the most common contributing factors to these often-catastrophic crashes.

Causes of Rollovers

Factors often responsible for causing truck rollover accidents include:

Ineffective Loading of Cargo

Trailers generally run as much as 53 feet in length. It’s optimal for loads to be equally distributed throughout the length of the trailer instead of placed at one end or another or all right in the center.

This more equitable weight distribution, along with strapping the load in so it doesn’t shift in transit, is key to minimizing rollovers.


If you stop to think of the times you’ve seen or heard about a truck overturning, it most commonly occurs on highways or interstates.


This happens because the speed limit tends to be higher on these roadways. The combination of an improperly secured load, less than ideal road conditions, such as wet or icy ones, and the inability of truckers to brake as quickly as passenger cars, especially when traveling at a high rate of speed, often leads to the occurrence of rollovers.

There’s also a high probability of a rollover or overturn accident, which often occurs when a trucker is navigating a circular off-ramp on an interstate or even making a turn or navigating a curvy road.

In these cases, the combination of speed and a load’s weight and distribution play a role in whether a truck may tip over on its side.

Truck Mechanical Issues

A lack of maintenance or roadworthiness can lead to rollovers. This often happens if the big rig has brake, suspension, or tire issues. Most of these issues are something truckers are expected to check on when performing pre-trip, post-trip, and other required inspections per the FMCSA.

Reckless Driving Behaviors

While we already mentioned speeding, which is a type of reckless driving, other unlawful behaviors prohibited per Pennsylvania law, including driving under the influence of alcohol or texting and driving, may also distract a trucker, leading them to speed and brake suddenly or venture into another lane where their bumper gets tapped, causing them to spin out of control and flip their truck on its side.

The same may occur if they fall asleep behind the wheel or drive despite not being healthy issues.

A Lack of Truck Driving Experience

One additional risk factor for truck rollovers is a lack of experience operating 18-wheelers.

Unfortunately, many veteran truckers have retired at a time when there’s been an increase in demand for drivers to transport loads. This means that many inexperienced truckers now are on our roadways, which don’t have the trial-and-error experience necessary for crash avoidance, including taking caution to avoid having a rollover.

When To Get Help If a Truck Rollover Harmed You

Most truck rollovers injure just the trucker, causing them to suffer broken bones, head injuries, and similar injuries.

However, there are some cases in which these crashes cause parts of the truck to strike surrounding vehicles when they fall over on their side. In these cases, those in the truck’s path can suffer catastrophic injuries when they’re struck or crushed by the cab or trailer of the 18-wheeler.

Recovering from serious injuries is one thing. However, sometimes, they leave behind life-altering harm that necessitates a person receiving physical or occupational therapy for a lifetime.

Those same individuals may require around-the-clock care to assist them with everyday activities for the rest of their lives. Going back to work may be out of the question. Others may not survive becoming entangled in such a collision.

If you’ve suffered harm in a rollover, you may be eligible for compensation for your losses.

A member of our legal team at Shrager, Sachs & Blanco can assess the merits of your case and advise you whether you’re eligible to pursue a claim to recover a monetary settlement. So, reach out to schedule a free consultation with a truck accident attorney in our office today.


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