Around 2:30 in the morning on Sunday, February 1st, a tractor-trailer hauling lettuce and heading eastbound on the I-10 flipped just past the Woolmarket exit in Biloxi. Crews spent almost ten hours unloading lettuce from the trailer and moving the semi off the highway, keeping lanes on the interstate closed until past noon. No details on what caused the big rig to flip have been released.
What causes a semi-trailer to flip?
While the cause of this particular truck accident is not known, there are many reasons which may cause a tractor-trailer to flip, jackknife or turn over. A tractor-trailer or semi-truck is composed of two components – the tractor or cab which pulls the trailer and the trailer itself, which is technically known as a semi-trailer, because it lacks front wheels and cannot move by itself; it must be attached to the tractor to complete the vehicle. Jackknifing occurs when the tractor goes into a skid, and the semi-trailer spins around independent of the tractor, winding up alongside the cab in the opposite direction, with the entire vehicle folded in on itself like a partially-opened pocket knife.
So what cause the tractor to skid in the first place? Truck driver error is a frequent cause, although equipment failure can play a role as well. Improper braking or brake failure are the most frequent causes of a jackknife, particularly on icy or wet and dangerous road conditions.
A commercial truck may flip due to a blowout or brake failure, or because the trucker was either braking too fast or turning too fast. Oversteering and understeering can both cause a tractor-trailer to flip over. An unbalanced or shifting load can also cause the semi to flip. It is important that a commercial vehicle be initially loaded with care and not negligently. The cargo should also be inspected frequently to check to see if it has undergone shifting and become unbalanced. Sometimes it is necessary to unload and reload the trailer to maintain a safely balanced load. This of course takes up valuable time for the trucker and trucking company, but failing to take this important step may be the cause of a serious truck accident which results in catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death, for which the driver or trucking company may be liable.
Attorney Corban Gunn helps victims of truck accidents in Biloxi, Gulfport and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast recover compensation for their injuries from negligent truckers and trucking companies. If you have been injured in a Biloxi truck accident, call our office at 228.284.6805 or contact us for a free consultation.