Trucking accidents are a concern for Texas drivers. Commercial trucks and delivery trucks present unique risks to smaller vehicles and their passengers. One of the reasons why collisions involving large vehicles are so deadly and damaging is because of their size.
Trucking companies and their employees have an obligation to keep roads safe, but not all of them do. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules for truckers and trucking companies. These rules are in place to prevent truck accidents, but many people take shortcuts or ignore the rules entirely.
Despite the operational training and the additional safety required for commercial drivers, trucks and other heavy vehicles are still involved in thousands of accidents each year in Texas causing severe injuries and even death to those on the wrong end of a truck accident.
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks. The typical size of commercial trucks causes the severity of injury and damage in commercial vehicle accidents. In such cases, cars involved in sandwich accidents get the lower hand in large truck collisions. Victims often suffer from broken bones, fractures, paralysis, head trauma, back injuries and amputations as a result of these crashes. A truck accident lawyer texas can help you pursue compensation for your injuries if another person was at fault. The typical size of commercial trucks causes the severity of injury and damage in commercial vehicle accidents. In such cases, cars involved in sandwich accidents get the lower hand in large truck collisions.
To raise awareness when traveling the roadways in the presence of commercial vehicles or tractor-trailers, here are some of the common reasons for truck accidents in Texas that people need to know.
1. Driver fatigue. Truck drivers often spend long hours on the road. They are commonly driving at night and with little rest. Fatigued truck drivers are a threat to those with whom they share the road. Studies show that drivers who get less than four hours of sleep double their risk of causing a car accident. Drivers who get less than five hours of sleep have a seven-fold greater chance of causing an accident. Furthermore, drivers who get six or seven hours of sleep are twice as likely to cause an accident as those who get eight hours or more.
2. Distracted driving – Truck drivers often drive under pressure to deliver a load on time. They also may feel pressured by their employer to drive more miles each day than is safe. This can lead to distracted driving behaviors such as texting or talking on the phone, eating, or reaching into the refrigerator for a drink or snack while driving down the highway at high rates of speed.
The risks of distracted driving caused by talking or texting on cell phones are not only limited to drivers of passenger cars. In fact, commercial truck drivers who use their mobile devices while driving can be even riskier.
3. Speeding – Speed limits are posted on Texas roads and highways to keep drivers safe. But not all truck drivers are willing to follow the rules. Large vehicles can be hard to control, especially if the motorist is exceeding the speed limit. It can only lead to serious accidents.
4. Poor truck maintenance – Trucking companies are responsible for conducting regular maintenance of their fleet of vehicles.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires truckers and trucking companies to comply with strict maintenance standards. A well-maintained vehicle is safer and less likely to break down on the route. When a trucker or company fails to maintain a commercial vehicle properly, the incomplete repairs may be to blame for an accident.
Tire blowouts and wheel defects are particularly common maintenance problems that can cause accidents. When treads are worn, brakes are poorly maintained, or tires are underinflated, a tire blowout or wheel separation can occur at any time, threatening motorists in nearby vehicles.
Examples of other common maintenance issues include:
● Broken headlights or taillights
● Broken windshield wipers
● Cracked windshields
● Missing mirrors
5. Improperly trained drivers -Commercial vehicle drivers with limited experience often don’t have any idea how to react to road conditions correctly. Amateur skills can pose a threat on the public highway.
Inadequate supervision and training are one of the leading causes of tractor-trailer accidents. Trucking companies have a duty to provide adequate training to their drivers in order to ensure safe operation. Under Texas law, all licensed truck drivers must have completed at least 240 hours of commercial vehicle training within the past 12 months. Trucking companies that fail to provide adequate training or don’t adhere to this requirement may be held liable for any resulting accidents.
6. Failure to notice blind spots – blind spots can exist on the sides, back, and front of large trucks. Truck drivers might steer into a small vehicle without even noticing it’s there if he or she hasn’t checked blind spots correctly.
7. Overloaded trucks – Laws restricting the amount of weight of each large vehicle exist to allow a standard weight while on the road. When a truck gets loaded over its capacity, it is harder to stop, increasing the danger of a rear-end crash.
8. Dangerous lane changes – large trucks require significantly more stopping distance than the average cars, and quick lane changes can result in a serious accident.
9. Improper Loading – Improper loading occurs when cargo is loaded onto a truck improperly or becomes loose during transit due to negligent loading or faulty equipment. The improper loading of cargo can cause dangerous swaying that makes it difficult for drivers to maintain control of their vehicle. It can also cause accidents if cargo falls off of trucks and lands into traffic lanes behind them.
10. Wide turns – Excessive turns are often required to accommodate the size of large trucks. If the truck driver does not see a vehicle between the truck and the curb, the smaller car might be dangerously cut off or squeezed.
11. Impaired Driving – Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol post a serious threat on the road. Driving while impaired greatly increases the risk of an accident because a driver will have slow reflexes and poor judgment.
Truck accidents happen each day throughout the state of Texas, and these accidents have a broad range of different causes that can often lead to serious truck accident injuries or even wrongful death. Trucking companies and truck drivers are well aware of the dangers and preventive measures involved in their trade, but still many ignore safety precautions for the sake of reaping larger profits.
He received his law degree, graduating cum laude from St. Thomas University School of Law. During law school Aaron argued mock appeals as a member and competitor of the St. Thomas Moot Court Competition Team. Additionally, Aaron interned for the Honorable Michael A. Robinson of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida.
Aaron began his legal career with the Florida based law firm Dell and Schaefer, P.A. where he worked as a legal clerk on personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability cases. He later joined the J.P. Barth Law Firm, PLLC of Texas prior to becoming a partner at Barth, Siddique & Associates.
Currently, his practice is centered around representing injured plaintiffs in personal injury actions throughout the State of Texas.