Glossary Of Truck Accident Terms

Listed below is a glossary of some terms related to truck accidents, all of which will help you to better understand the terminology used in conjunction with truck accidents.

Antilock Braking System (ABS): A kind of braking system that uses a computer, sensors, and solenoid valves that all work in tandem to check wheel speed and adjust the braking force. This type of braking system is very useful, as it enables the driver to maintain control of the truck through heavy braking in slippery conditions.
Axle: A part of the structure of the truck to which the brakes, wheels, and suspension are connected. Axles with powered wheels are known as drive axles, whereas a steer axle is the front axle. If an axle locks, it can cause truck accidents.
Allowable Payload: The maximum amount of load (according to weight) that is allowed to be carried on the truck, as indicated by the design of the particular truck, some legal limit, or any component rating system, such as axle capacity or legal axle load limit.
Air Ride Suspension: A suspension system that supports the weight of the truck on rubber bags filled with air and not on the regular steel springs. An engine-driven air compressor supplies compressed air to the system for functioning.
Automatic Traction Control (ATC): A truck that has ABS may have an optional system known as the ATC. This system enables braking of separate wheels and can also reduce engine throttle, which checks spinning of the drive wheels in slippery conditions.
Blind Spot: Blind spots are regions around a truck that cannot be seen by the truck driver through any means, including the windshield, side windows, or rear view mirrors. Passenger vehicles driving in blind spots of a truck are a frequent cause of truck accidents.
BC (Body clearance): The space that is present between the back of the cab and the rest of the truck, to avert any cab-to rear body contact, because of flexing of chassis frame.
Brake Engine: A brake mechanism that uses engine compression pressure as a means for braking.
Dead-Heading: Running a truck without a full load. If a tanker is not full, there is sloshing of the liquid, which causes loss of control that contributes to truck accidents.
DWI: Driving while intoxicated; when the driver's blood-alcohol level is lower, it is known as DUI or driving under the influence.
Ejection: Sometimes, when a truck crashes or rolls over, the passengers of the truck may be fully or partially thrown from the vehicle, which is referred to as being ejected from the vehicle.
Empty Combination Weight: Refers to just the weight of the empty truck, without counting the weight of any load or passengers.
Extrication: Refers to the removal, with assistance, of any people who were involved in the truck accident. The people could have been extricated either from the truck or another vehicle.
Hazardous Cargo: A substance or material that has been determined by the Secretary of Transportation to pose an unreasonable threat to the health and safety of people and property when transported in trade. Such materials are known as hazardous cargo.
Hazmat: Also refers to hazardous (HAZ) materials (MAT), as categorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Hazmat carriers pose an additional danger in the case of truck accidents due to the nature of their loads.
Hit and Run: If a truck or truck driver involved in an accident leaves the scene before the arrival of the authorities, it is a case of a hit-and-run accident.
Hours Driving: The amount of time, in hours, that has elapsed from the time the truck driver started driving, until the time of the truck accident, is referred to as hours driving.
Jackknife: When a trailer is placed at a sharp angle to the tractor—almost a 90-degree angle—it is called jackknifing. Jackknifing is one of the leading causes of truck accidents.
Logbook: The U.S. Department of Transportation requires truck drivers to maintain a record of their hours at duty, and their driving hours, for each 24-hour period. The book in which such records are maintained is called the logbook.
Principal Impact: The main force which is deemed to have resulted in the maximum degree of personal injury or property damage in any specific truck accident.
Rollover: The rotation of a truck of 90 degrees or more, on a longitudinal or sideways axis, is called a rollover.
Roadway Surface Condition: The state of the road at the time of the truck accident. For instance, a roadway surface may be dry, wet, icy, slippery, etc.
Truck: A vehicle that transports goods in a body built on its framework, and not in a trailer towed by the automobile.

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