Water Tanker Truck Crash a Stark Reminder of the Danger of Big Rig RolloversLogan Schrupp, who is employed in the oilfields, was traveling home to get some sleep after completing his 12 hour overnight shift when he witnessed a man in the street standing and flagging him down. When Schrupp also noticed the crashed semi-truck laying upside down on the street near the man, he pulled over and turned on his hazard lights.

Nobody else was around to help other than these two men. The other man, Thomas, was also an oilfield worker. He also happened to be driving by when he saw the flipped over semi. Both men then took action with Thomas pulling on the driver side door and Schrupp able to extract the driver free from the mangled mess.

The North Dakota state patrol reported that Felix Cuello, 55, the driver of the overturned rig, attempted to turn east off Highway 22 onto BIA Road 14. He lost control of the semi in the snowy conditions, and his tanker trailer rolled over onto its roof in the middle of the turn.

Momentum shifts can cause trucks to tip

Rollovers occur when the driver of a truck changes direction too suddenly, resulting in the cab and heavy trailer tipping over onto their sides. Trucks traveling down highways carry significant momentum. Due to their size and weight, they need to slow down more gradually compared to standard passenger cars. They lack the quick maneuverability of smaller vehicles.

As a semi-truck moves around a bend, centrifugal forces force the truck to lean opposite the direction of the curve. The truck can easily tip over if too much centrifugal force is present – resulting from excessive speed around the curve or an improperly loaded (unbalanced) cargo.

When it comes to tanker trucks, the fluid inside of the tank, under the action of high vehicle speeds, can move around and apply enough pressure to one side of the tank to roll the truck over completely.

Driver error in rollovers

In a study conducted on truck rollover crashes, it was found that virtually 50% of rollovers are the result of a failure of the truck driver to adjust the speed of the vehicle based on roadway conditions. Drivers must adjust their driving to the current conditions of the road. Disastrous results can occur when drivers fail to take account of the physics of the loads they are caring or how quickly the trucks brakes can react to slow the vehicle down, particularly when approaching curves.

Driver inattention is another significant cause of crashes. If a driver becomes distracted, “zones out,” or falls asleep, rollovers accidents can occur.

Another factor in crashes involves steering problems. If the driver overcorrects after drifting out of a lane or over steers around a curve it can lead to the instability of the big rig.

Accident cases involving commercial trucks and tractor-trailers can be complicated. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury in a semi-truck rollover accident, the North Dakota truck accident lawyers at Larson Law Firm, P.C. can help. We are here to fight for your right to secure complete compensation for your injuries and losses. To set up a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys, call us in Minot or Bismarck today at 701.484.HURT, or fill out our contact form.