Types of Tractor-Trailer Accidents & Laws in Alabama

Posted on Wed Dec 16, 2020

Thousands of times each year, Alabama motorists set out to run an errand, visit a friend or go to work but end up with catastrophic injuries because of a commercial truck accident.

Rollovers, jackknife crashes, drowsy and drunk driving accidents, improper cargo crashes and other types of truck accidents put Alabamians’ lives on the line every day. In fact, tractor-trailer accidents injured 2,629 people and killed 121 on Alabama roads in 2018, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT).

These horrific wrecks leave the drivers of smaller vehicles with severe injuries that can make earning a living and leading a normal life nearly impossible. But there are ways to seek justice after a life-changing wreck.

Read on for more information about the types of tractor-trailer accidents and laws in Alabama that influence your legal options.


Victims of accidents deserve repayment for their injuries and suffering. However, filing such a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is complicated.

Even a small mistake can destroy the victim’s chance of recovering fair compensation. This is why it's essential to enlist help from an experienced legal team that can assess the situation and collect evidence of the driver’s negligence.

The good news is that Alabama’s tractor-trailer accident laws protect those who have been harmed by trucking companies and truck drivers’ negligence. These laws enable victims of 18 wheeler accidents in Alabama to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for their damages.


Federal and state authorities enforce strict trucking laws and regulations to protect the safety of everyone who uses our roads. Here are some important Alabama trucking laws and regulations as outlined by the Code of Alabama:

  • Hours of Service – Federal "hours of service" rules for tractor-trailer drivers specify how long truckers can be on the road and how often they should rest (§395.3, Electronic Code of Federal Regulations).
  • Controlled Substance Use – Federal and state motor carrier regulations strictly prohibit controlled substance use by tractor-trailer drivers. And trucking companies are required to stop an employee from driving if they know the employee has used a controlled substance (§382.213, Electronic Code of Federal Regulations).
  • Alabama CDL Requirements – To drive a commercial truck in Alabama, a driver must obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) and remain in good standing. That means truckers must have insurance and pass a skills test.

When a trucker or trucking company violates one of these regulations, deadly accidents like those discussed in the next section can result.


All kinds of truck accidents happen on Alabama roads. The exact type of accident you’re involved in could determine your legal options. Below, we describe some of the most common types of tractor-trailer accidents in Alabama.


Did you know that, in tractor-trailer wrecks, it is ten times more likely that driver error is the cause of the collision than any other factor? One such error involves a truck following another vehicle too closely. Truckers often tailgate slower drivers to try to get them to move out of the way. Unfortunately, this behavior contributed to the 809 tailgating-related 18-wheeler crashes that happened in Alabama in 2018, according to ALDOT.

Aggressive driving behaviors like tailgating are unacceptable and negligent. If this was the cause of your tractor-trailer accident, you might be able to hold the truck driver accountable through a personal injury lawsuit.


Sideswipe truck accidents happen when a truck driver improperly changes lanes and hits another vehicle's side in the other lane. Improper lane changes contributed to 1,351 commercial truck crashes in Alabama in 2018, ALDOT reported.

This careless behavior places the blame for the accident directly on the truck driver. Victims of such accidents likely can sue the truck driver and trucking company for financial compensation.


Sometimes, truck drivers spend so long on the road that they fall asleep behind the wheel. This dangerous behavior caused 210 Alabama tractor-trailer crashes in 2018 alone.

If the trucker or trucking company failed to follow hours of service rules that limit time spent driving, your legal team can utilize this as evidence of negligence or negligent supervision. That means you may be owed financial compensation for the drowsy driving truck crash that injured you.


Defective brakes, tires, and other parts can cause truck accidents. In fact, faulty equipment played a role in 431 trucking accidents on Alabama roads in 2018.

Determining your legal options after a defective equipment truck crash can be difficult. The manufacturer or anyone involved in the maintenance of the truck could be to blame. A qualified attorney can investigate the crash to determine who is at fault.


Alabama truck accident victims may feel that they have no way to get their lives back. Still, many common types of truck accidents can lead to successful personal injury lawsuits that compensate victims.

For help with the legal process surrounding truck accident claims, contact the experienced Alabama truck accident attorneys at Warren & Simpson.

With the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell, 2019 membership in America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators, and over 3,000 successful cases for Alabamians who have been injured, Warren & Simpson is the professional legal team you need on your side.

With extensive knowledge of Alabama Law and ample experience, we can take on even the most complicated tractor-trailer accident cases. Let us guide you through the legal process, gather evidence and build a solid case on your behalf.

To speak with a top-rated Alabama truck accident lawyer, call Warren & Simpson at 256-539-7575 or contact us online.