Runaway Trailers

July 31, 2014

Although it may not be the most common type of truck accident, runaway trailers pose serious risk to others on the road and can cause serious injury or even death. A runaway trailer accident may occur when a trailer’s speed is inconsistent with the truck carrying it, and cause the trucker to lose control. In other cases, a trailer may become detached from the truck and uncontrollably slam into anything in its path before stopping. These types of accidents often involve multiple vehicles.

A driver requires a specific skill set to operate a large commercial vehicle. This is why Alabama and the rest of the U.S. require drivers to undergo additional licensing procedures to obtain the privilege to drive a commercial vehicle. Truckers need to be vigilant, for just a moment of lapsed judgment or one simple mechanical error can have devastating consequences.

If a truck driver’s negligence has caused you or a loved one injury or even death, you are urged to contact one of contact an experienced car accident lawyer. You may be eligible to seek compensation for your hardships, including medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.

Explore your legal options now – fill out the Free Case Review form to your right to be contacted by us.


Causes of Runaway Trailer Accidents

As with most motor vehicle collisions, many factors can lead to a runaway trailer accident, however there are several common causes that contribute to runaway trailers, including:

Overloaded Trailers

Unfortunately, 18-wheelers and other types of trucks are heftily loaded with more cargo than the truck is legally or safely able to carry. This can lead to tire blowouts or braking system failure, leading the commercial vehicle to become a multi-ton road hazard that may collide with other vehicles on the road. In cases of overloaded trailers, it is important to investigate whether the shipping company or inspection officials were aware of the excess cargo if you are pursuing a claim.

Equipment Failure

Brake failure and other mechanical defects can often cause a runaway trailer. If the trailer’s brakes fail, it may become detached from the truck; this can also happen with the failure of other mechanical equipment. This can usually be avoided by having a truck and trailer properly inspected prior to departure.

Improper Turning

Runaway trailers are sometimes caused when a truck driver turns too quickly or is involved in a jackknife accident. If a trucker was operating a commercial vehicle unsafely, leading to the need to take a turn too quickly, the driver may be liable for damages caused in a runaway trailer accident.

Steep Hills

Steep declines can be trouble for trucks, especially when there are issues with the vehicle’s brakes. The trailer may begin traveling too quickly for a commercial vehicle and swing to the side, or detach completely. This may be caused by negligence or poorly designed roads.


A trucker needs to adjust speed based on the contents of the attached trailer. This may require a driver to adjust their usual habits; in cases where a trucker engages in speeding and does not make the necessary adjustments, a trailer may become detached.

Any of these factors can lead to runaway trailers. If you encounter a truck that appears to be at risk or is driving erratically, try to avoid an accident by either speeding up (if safe) or slowing down to create distance.


Contact Our Trucking Accident Attorneys

The severity of an accident caused by a runaway trailer can be horrifying. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by the negligence of a truck driver or shipping company, Citrin Law Firm may be able to help you establish a personal injury or wrongful death case. contact an experienced car accident lawyerhas the expertise and resources to defend your rights in the courtroom.

We believe the at-fault parties should be held responsible for their negligence and will fight to obtain the maximum compensation for our clients, as our track record of success in litigating truck accident claims shows.

It is our responsibility to defend the rights of Alabama injury victims. Through our office located in Mobile, we proudly serve clients from the following areas:

Call 1-251-888-8888 today to begin your free, no-obligation consultation. One of our attorneys will help determine whether you have a trucking accident case.

For a faster response, fill out the Free Case Review form at the top of this page and we will contact you.

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