The Slow Crash: How Semis Cause Accidents in DC Intersections

It's not just high-speed accidents that cause injuries. Trucks carrying heavy loads can cause irreparable damage at speeds as low as 10 mph-which is usually the case on city streets.

Common Types of Intersection Accidents 

A few types of Virginia truck accidents that are more likely at an intersection:

  • Rear-end accidents, also called under-ride accidents, occur when a driver slams into the back of a semi, wedging the front end of his car under the trailer. These are more likely to occur when a truck suddenly slams on its brakes, such as at a red light or due to slowed traffic.
  • Head-on collision. Two-way traffic on city streets may be slower, but it also lacks the safety of concrete barriers. If a truck loses control or tries to go around another motorist, he can likely hit a car in the opposite lane head-on.
  • Rollover accidents. If a truck collides with the side of a smaller vehicle, the car may tip over and spin into a roll. Due to the weight and size of the truck, these rollovers cause much more damage than normal rollovers, since they tend to roll longer and farther from the force of impact.
  • Pedestrian accidents. Just as when cars collide with bikers, a trucker hitting a pedestrian often proves fatal for the unprotected traveler. Walkers, runners, bicyclists, even pets and children have been hit by neglectful truck drivers who failed to see them in the crosswalk.

Common Causes of Intersection Accidents

The most common reasons accidents occur at intersections-and how to avoid them:

  • Missed stop signs. Truckers are used to highway driving, and may not be looking for the stop signs on city roads. If you are following a truck that approaches an intersection at a high speed, stay well behind him in the lane and honk your horn to alert him.
  • Running red lights. While dangerous for any vehicle, a truck running a red light means more force and momentum in the intersection when crossing motorists are approaching. If the truck goes through a red light, do not follow behind him-if he causes an accident, you will likely be part of it.
  • Mechanical failure. A truck's brakes, lights, and other mechanical systems are more likely to fail when the truck comes to a stop than while it is rolling down the highway. If you see a truck's lights flickering or you fail to see any signal lights at all, report him by calling the number on the back of the truck.

A Virginia Truck Accident Attorney Can Help

As experienced Fairfax trucking accident attorneys, we know that semi accidents can cause immeasurable destruction. What you may not know is that many of these accidents could be avoided if trucking companies were more diligent in training their drivers how to handle the rig's heavy equipment. Even if companies cannot control the truck driver's actions, there are ways to be extra careful when traveling next to a semi.

Remember: if you have been injured in a trucking accident in Virginia, you can get help. Call Shevlin Smith today at (703) 591-0067 to schedule a free case evaluation.