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Warning Signs a Semi-Truck May Crash

Sharing the road with semi-trucks is an unavoidable part of driving, but the size and power of these vehicles can turn a regular drive into a life-threatening event in seconds. However, there are some warning signs that a semi-truck might be on the brink of causing an accident. Knowing these signs is not just beneficial—it could save your life.

Sudden, Unpredictable Braking

Semi-trucks require significant distances to come to a complete stop. If a truck ahead is braking erratically or suddenly, it may indicate the driver’s poor judgment or a response to an emergency or obstacle on the road. This type of braking can lead to severe rear-end collisions or multi-vehicle pileups. If you notice these patterns, increase your following distance and remain vigilant.

Swerving or Drifting

When a semi-truck begins to swerve or drift between lanes, it is often a sign of driver fatigue or distraction. These large vehicles drifting even slightly can quickly lead to disastrous outcomes, given their massive blind spots. Keep a safe distance and possibly even reduce your speed to allow the truck to stabilize or to safely pass if conditions allow.

A Swaying or Leaning Trailer

A swaying or leaning trailer can indicate improper loading or an unbalanced cargo load. This significantly increases the risk of a rollover accident, especially in windy conditions or on curves. If you notice a trailer swaying, make sure to keep your distance from the vehicle or, if the conditions allow, pass the truck quickly and safely.

Unsecured or Poorly Secured Cargo

When cargo is not properly secured on a semi-truck, it poses a significant risk to all road users. Unsecured loads can shift unpredictably, causing the driver to lose control. In some cases, the cargo itself can fall onto the roadway, creating hazardous obstacles for other vehicles. If the cargo is exposed or looks like it could fall off the vehicle, stay alert and maintain a safe distance from the truck.

Unstable or Wobbly Tires

Unstable or wobbly tires on a semi-truck are often a sign of poor maintenance and can be precursors to tire blowouts. A blowout not only jeopardizes the truck’s stability but also creates dangerous road debris that can lead to accidents. If you observe wobbly tires on a truck, increase your following distance and pass the truck with caution. Make sure to monitor the truck’s movements closely.

Sharp and Sudden Turns

When a truck makes sharp turns, it could indicate that the driver is struggling to maintain control, possibly due to excessive speed, sudden maneuvers, or shifting loads. These actions can lead to jackknifing or rollovers, which are particularly dangerous both for the truck driver and nearby vehicles. Again, if you notice these movements, reduce your speed and prepare for potential disruptions in the flow of traffic.

If you are injured in a truck accident, you deserve justice. By filing a claim against the driver responsible for the crash, you can recover a settlement to help pay for any losses that you sustained. Contact a Seattle, Washington truck accident attorney who can provide the support and guidance that you need to protect your rights and secure the compensation that you deserve.