The highways of Texas see a high volume of trucking traffic. Interstate 10, I-20, I-35, and I-37 are popular routes for semi-trucks. All too often, the tractor-trailers and semi-trucks that travel our highways are involved in deadly accidents with the smaller cars, SUVs, and motorcycles that share the roadways.
Of course, the trucking industry plays a critical role in our national economy by transporting various products coast to coast. However, there is a price that the rest of us pay for relying so heavily on the trucking industry. That price is safety!.
In 2020, there were 155,915 crashes involving large commercial trucks resulting in 4,535 motorist deaths. 67,849 were severely or permanently injured. Statistics show that the weight difference alone can create dangerous conditions for motorists. Even low-speed accidents can prove deadly to those in smaller vehicles.
Think about it – a fully loaded, triple-trailer semi-truck can weigh as much as 129,000 pounds. A more conventional 18-wheeler semi-truck weighs in at 80,000 pounds. That’s 40 tons! In contrast, the car you’re driving probably weighs no more than 3,500 pounds: less than two tons. While large pickup trucks and SUVs average around 5,000 pounds, they are still no match when colliding with a tractor-trailer.
WHY DO TRUCK ACCIDENTS HAPPEN?
Accidents happen fast. A moment’s distraction may turn into a lifetime of pain or regret. As with other motor vehicle accidents, most truck accidents can be avoided by some simple common sense. There are numerous reasons why truck accidents happen. Some of the more common reasons are:
Driver fatigue (insufficient rest)
Texting while driving or not paying attention
Following other vehicles too closely
Trucks being loaded improperly
Poor truck maintenance
Not adapting to poor driving conditions (i.e. rain, snow, ice, etc…)
Truck drivers are often under great pressure to deliver goods on time. As a result, any interruption in their schedule causes added pressure to get to their location. Under this burden, drivers can become reckless, often driving on too little rest or going faster than the law or weather and road conditions allow. Reckless driving can also include irregular shifting and driving too close to other cars. Many times, reckless driving leads to injury, property damage, and even death. If there is one central cause of accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks, it is the pressure put on drivers to deliver their cargo on time – no excuses.
Truck drivers are supposed to undergo specialized training to operate commercial trucks. Like other motorists, they are required to obey numerous state and federal laws, as well as company guidelines, that have been enacted to monitor the trucking industry and to ensure the truckers on the roads are safe. Unfortunately, some companies not only fail to train their drivers, many actually hire drivers who have proven themselves unreliable in complying with laws. Trucking companies that do nothing to prevent this dangerous behavior, even though by law they are required to monitor their employees, are putting innocent families at risk. Sadly, it is a risk they are willing to take.
There are many types of truck accidents that occur on highways, interstates, and streets. Some common tractor-trailer accidents involve head-on collisions, rear-end accidents, and side-impact (“T-bone”) collisions. The most serious accidents involve multiple vehicles or “underride” truck accidents, where a car crashes beneath a truck’s trailer, causing the car to get lodged underneath the truck.
FREE TRUCK ACCIDENT LEGAL CONSULTATION
If you, a loved one, or a family member have suffered injuries in an accident involving an 18-wheeler truck, semi-truck, or tractor-trailer, you need to act fast to preserve evidence and secure your rights. Call our Truck Accident Lawyers right away. Remember, if you can’t come to us because of distance or injuries, we will come to you.
I LIVE ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE STATE. CAN YOU STILL HELP ME?
Absolutely. In today’s technological world, we can do many things that were once impossible. Our attorneys have been working with clients all over Texas for decades.
TRUCKING ACCIDENT CASES ARE DIFFERENT THAN CAR ACCIDENT CASES
While there are exceptions, most car accident cases involve people who are not transporting cargo across state lines. Most accidents involving semi-trucks involve the transportation of commerce, which makes those trucks subject to state and federal regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a federal agency housed within the Department of Transportation. The purpose of the regulations adopted by the FMCSA is to save lives and provide safer roadways through uniform rules designed to improve the safety of commercial vehicles.
If you are involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler truck, chances are one or more FMSCA regulations will apply. For example, there are regulations that affect the number of hours a driver is allowed to drive without rest (49 CFR Part 395.1), as well as weight restrictions (49 CFR Part 658.17) for the rig itself. If a lawyer is able to prove that a driver or trucking company violated one of the regulations designed to keep the traveling public safe and that violation caused or contributed to cause your accident, the penalty to those responsible for your injuries could be severe.