Why are tractor-trailers particularly vulnerable to rolling over?
Tractor-trailer drivers know that their vehicle’s centre of gravity, combined with the frequent need to transport unstable loads, are the perfect combination for large tractor-trailers to roll over. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has studied large vehicle crashes and concluded that some 9% of them involve a rollover.
Are there any other reasons why trucks end up rolling over?
Driving a truck is no easy task, and if the driver is distracted, the risk of crashing or rolling over becomes even higher. Taking their eyes off the road, dozing or falling asleep, texting, and any other distractive action, all lead to situations in which a sudden stop or direction change results in a rollover.
Errors While Steering
Not steering enough to ensure that the truck stays in the lane, overcorrecting to the point of having to counter-steer to stay on the road or over-steering are all actions that can take the truck to the point of rolling over.
The Size and Weight of the Load
If a truck driver fails to take into account the load they are carrying and if they don’t make allowances for its height, weight, or how tightly it was secured, a single wrong move can result in their truck rolling over. In other cases, the load is placed before the driver has been assigned to the truck. So, they are unaware of the dimensions of what they are transporting and find that they need to make adjustments, sometimes when it is too late and they end up rolling over.
Undoubtedly, speeding accounts for the greatest number of rollover crashes. Misjudging the speed at which a curve can be taken, taking curves at excessive speed, responding to actions from other users of the road, and not adjusting to the conditions of the road, are just some reasons why these accidents occur.
Is there anything that a truck driver can do to prevent rolling over?
Taking instruction that focuses specifically on the prevention of rollovers is key. Through videos and other visual methods, drivers could learn to recognise early rollover signs. If employers offer simulation training, this would allow drivers to experience the possible consequences of rollovers and other mistakes without it implying any risk to them or to the trucks.
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