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Semi-Truck Accidents: Risks All Motorists Need to Be Aware Of

Semi-trucks are massive big rigs commonly seen on roads and highways throughout Portland. Consisting of the truck cab with one or more trailers attached to the back, they deliver many of the products and materials residents rely on daily. Sharing the road with a semi-truck can be unnerving for drivers, and for good reason. They are one of the most common types of big rigs to be involved in truck accidents. When crashes do occur, there is a strong potential for them to impact other motorists on the road. 

Semi-Truck Accident Risks

As one of the most common types of vehicles used by the trucking industry, there are close to three million semi-trucks registered in the United States. According to Popular Mechanics, they deliver nearly 70 percent of all of the goods we use on a daily basis.  

Semi-trucks are massive machines, weighing up to 80,000 pounds. Also known as tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers, they feature a front cab where the driver sits and one or more trailers attached to the back through a hitch known as a dolly. Semi-truck trailers have no front wheels and can only be used when attached to the cab. Once connected, pressure from the truck’s air pump causes automatic brakes in the back wheels of the trailer to release, allowing it to roll.

There are two major problems that can arise with semi-trucks and tractor-trailers, which can end up resulting in serious and potentially life-threatening truck accidents: 

  • Unsecured or uneven loads: Improper loading practices can cause the cargo in the trailer to shift during transport, making rollover accidents more likely to happen. 
  • Freezing of the rear brakes in the trailer: While semi-truck trailers are required to have anti-lock braking systems, sudden stops can still cause them to freeze up. This can lead to jackknife accidents, which is when the trailer rides up at an angle directly alongside the truck. 

In addition to endangering the truck driver, jackknife and rollover truck accidents can impact other nearby motorists on the road, resulting in serious injuries. 

Semi-Truck Accidents In Portland

With the amount of truck traffic in our area, semi-truck accidents in Portland happen on a regular basis: 

  • According to a June 15, 2020 news report by Oregon Live, an accident involving a semi-truck in the eastbound lanes of I-84 near Fairview Parkway ended up causing injuries to drivers in opposing lanes. 
  • Fox-12 Oregon reported that a similar semi-truck rollover accident occurred just a week prior on northbound I-5 near Tualatin. 
  • A quick Google search of jackknife accidents in Oregon involving semi-trucks shows that these crashes left numerous drivers with serious and, in some cases, fatal injuries over the course of the previous year. 

Let Us Help You Today

If you or someone you love is injured in a semi-truck or other type of big rig accident, the Johnston Law Firm P.C. provides the aggressive legal representation you need.  Call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland truck accident attorneys online today to request a consultation.  


Marc Johnston

Lead Attorney at Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

Based in downtown Portland, Marc A. Johnston is the owner and managing attorney of the award-winning, internationally-known personal injury law firm, Johnston Law Firm, P.C. Marc's career has been dedicated to representing the injured and individuals who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. His focus on trial law creates the backbone of the Johnston Law Firm — a firm that is ready to go the distance in seeking justice for its clients.