Five Common Types of Fatal Truck Accidents

Semi-truck accidents are among the most serious commercial vehicle crashes that can occur on Dallas roads. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 2,610 commercial vehicle accidents in Dallas County in 2011. A total of 22 people died as a result of those accidents and another 459 suffered a serious injury.

Understanding how and why an accident occurred is important for any crash victim wishing to seek compensation in an injury claim. Below is a look at five common types of fatal truck accidents and how and why they occur.

Head-on Collision

The head-on collision is one of the more potentially lethal types of commercial truck accidents. This typically occurs when either a truck or passenger vehicle travels across the median or centerline, such as during a passing situation or when a driver fails to pay attention to the road.

Underride Crash

An underride crash occurs when a passenger vehicle collides with a truck (especially from the rear) and becomes trapped underneath. This can happen because of the size discrepancy between the two vehicles. These accidents put drivers and passengers at great risk for severe brain trauma and even decapitation and other fatal injuries.

Override Accident

The override accident is similar to the underride accident in that the passenger vehicle becomes wedged beneath the large commercial truck. However, in an override accident, the truck actually drives over the car.

This could happen if a truck driver were to abruptly change lanes without checking for small passenger cars in the adjacent lanes. Passengers and victims are at risk for serious and fatal injuries that can include traumatic brain injury, amputation, and other trauma.

Rear-end Collision

Trucks can weigh in at 40 times the tonnage of a standard passenger vehicle, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This means commercial trucks need much more time and distance to come to a complete stop. This is especially true if the truck is traveling at a high rate of speed on a highway like I-30 or the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway.

A rear-end collision can occur if the truck driver fails to leave enough space between his or her vehicle and the car ahead. Lack of driver attentiveness is another risk factor for a rear-end collision.

A truck driver who is participating in distracting behaviors – texting while driving, looking at a map – is less likely to respond to stopped traffic insufficient time. A truck that rear-ends a car can actually result in an override accident.


A jackknife occurs when a commercial truck or semi essentially “folds” into a position where it resembles the angle of a pocketknife. Improper braking techniques or equipment failure may cause these accidents. A jackknifing truck can easily strike other vehicles in its path, causing a severe or fatal injury.

Have you or a loved one been seriously injured in a truck accident in the greater Dallas area? Have you lost a family member in a fatal truck accident? Call 214-290-8001, or use our online contact form to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with a personal injury attorney.

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