Jackknife to T-bone: How Trucks Crash

In 2015, trucks were involved in 3,838 fatal crashes. In 2012, the last year for which statistics are available, police received 317,000 reports of crashes involving a large truck.

These are disturbing statistics. We all see massive trucks on the road every day. They are vital to our economy, transporting products and other material across the nation.

But because of their size and weight, any collision involving a truck has the potential of being much more serious than a collision with a car or other vehicle. Truck crashes can cause multivehicle accidents. They can cause loss of life and injuries more frequently because of the relative size.

Not only that, but trucks can crash for multiple reasons. They can become unstable if the products have not been loaded properly. They can become dangerous if they have not been properly maintained. All too often, truck drivers must make schedules that do not allow them enough sleep or require them to drive too fast. Drowsy and speeding drivers may make fatal or injurious errors in judgment, or be unable to react to traffic conditions quickly.

Part of the issue is the way that trucks crash. Here are some of the most common type of truck collisions.


If you’ve listened to morning news reports, chances are you’ve heard traffic alerts of a jackknifed truck. A jackknife means that the driver had to stop too suddenly and hit the brakes too hard, causing the truck to skid. The skid causes the back half of the truck to turn at a 90-degree angle to the front part — the same angle as an open jackknife.


Any driver can be in a T-Bone accident. It’s caused by running a red light and hitting the middle of a vehicle crossing the intersection. This is always a serious accident, but the size of a truck makes the accident far more severe.


If the driver loses control of the truck, whether due to inadequate maintenance, weather conditions, or other reasons, it can skid and roll over. A rollover can occur across multiple lanes of traffic, affecting multiple vehicles. Rollover trucks can also catch fire.


If a truck stops quickly, a smaller vehicle following it can become lodged underneath it. This accident is very likely to be fatal.

Lost or Falling Load

If cargo has not been properly secured, it can fall off the truck as it drives. The initial fall and the debris from the cargo can both cause serious accidents.

Do You Need a Truck Accident Attorney?

Have you or a loved one been injured or killed in a truck accident? Edelman, Krasin & Jaye are seasoned truck accident attorneys who will fight to see that justice is done.

Our initial consultation is free; we will discuss your case and potential next steps. Call today for a free consultation with an experienced New York City and Long Island truck accident lawyer.

More Resources on the Different Types of Truck Accidents:

  1. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC Vital Signs, March 2015. Trucker Safety. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/truck-safety/index.html.
  2. United States Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 2017 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statisticshttps://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/81121/2017-pocket-guide-large-truck-and-bus-statistics-final-508c-0001.pdf