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IL truck accident attorneySan Antonio law enforcement is seeking a truck driver who fled the scene after causing the death of a motorcyclist, and injuries to several other motorists, in an accident on I-10 one recent night. The truck had been traveling too fast for the flow of traffic and wound up jackknifing across the lanes of I-10 East. Fleeing the scene of an accident is a crime, but in addition, the families of those injured can bring suit for negligence and wrongful death if they believe they have a case to do so. If you have been injured in a similar case, you have options to try and recover your expenses.

Truck Crashes All Too Common

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) statistics for 2018 (the most recent available data) show that approximately 465 fatal crashes happened on state roads that involved a semi-truck or tractor-trailer that year, and over 3,000 injury-related crashes in the same time frame. This adds up to about 13 percent of all crashes on Texas roads that year. There are trends within these numbers, including a higher percentage of accidents happening in rural areas.

There are also a handful of causes that continue to reappear in police reports. Excessive speeding, use of alcohol or other substances, and poor road maintenance are among the most common, but the most often reported reason for crashes is driver fatigue. Truck drivers are routinely pushed by their employers to drive beyond regulation limits on hours and miles, and the resulting fatigue very often results in accidents.

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TX accident lawyerThe life of a commercial trucker is quite difficult, requiring long hours on the road and in many cases, low rewards. Sometimes, individual drivers or their superiors may drive beyond the hours required, or otherwise try to push the limits of what is acceptable, and accidents can result. While truck drivers are certainly not always responsible for trucking-related crashes, fatigue can play an outsized role in many, not least of all because many truck drivers do not notice it until it is too late.

Employees and Employers

The average driver may think that fatigue on the road is no big deal, given how many drivers may not be at their peak when operating a motor vehicle. However, large trucks have two to three times the weight of an average automobile, and that much weight at speed causes significantly more damage than an automobile does when it connects with a solid object. Fatigue contributes to slower reaction times and to impaired perception that may not even notice another vehicle if visibility is low.

Truck drivers deserve rest and recuperation time. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published what are called Hours of Service (HOS) regulations that commercial truck drivers are required to follow, so as to try and cut down on danger to both the drivers and to other motorists on the road. FMCSA statistics estimate that roughly 15 percent of truck crashes, particularly in the nighttime hours, were at least partially caused by driver fatigue or lack of sleep. In addition, the law requires that drivers log their hours, but many routinely try to fudge the numbers so as to drive longer and deliver orders more quickly.

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TX accident lawyerRecently, the northbound lanes of I-35 were closed for several hours after a crash involving a semi-truck. The blockage lasted from mid-morning to early afternoon, and while no injuries were reported, many accidents involving semi-trucks can yield very serious injuries. If you have been injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, you need an attorney who is experienced in this type of case to help you try and recover for the harm you have suffered.

Causes and Effects

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)’s statistics show that the total number of fatal crashes involving large trucks has steadily increased between 2009 and 2017, though the most recent available totals are still lower than the 20-year high from 2005 (over 5,200 fatal wrecks). The total number from 2017 was 4,889, but it should be emphasized that these are only the fatal wrecks that have been reported to law enforcement, and it is not uncommon for rural accidents to go unreported in some states.

There are several reasons for this statistical trend, but much of it can be explained by the tendency of semi-truck drivers to push the proverbial envelope - while the FMCSA propagates regulations for truck drivers, such as the number of hours one should drive or the number of miles one can go without maintenance, time is money. Very often a trucking company will try and compel their employees to drive longer hours or otherwise bend the rules so as to make more deliveries at a quicker pace. Lack of sleep or maintenance are both major factors in the likelihood of a truck causing a wreck.

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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

TX truck accident lawyerRecently, southbound I-35 in Austin was closed after a large truck lost its cargo just south of Airport Boulevard. While no injuries were reported, this is far from common when trucks drop cargo on public roads. If you are involved in an accident with a large truck, or with cargo they have left behind, it is very possible that you might sustain serious injuries that breed large medical bills. If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have every right to seek compensation to ensure your bills are covered.

Statistics and Trends

Large trucks are a huge part of traffic on U.S. roads, with approximately 12 million registered single and combination trucks in 2017. Texas shoulders a large part of that burden on its roads, with shipping between the states racking up miles driven every year. While the relative proportion of fatal crashes for all that shipping is relatively low, with only around 600 fatalities and 1,250 injuries registered in Texas crashes involving large trucks, truck accidents are generally more likely to lead to fatalities and serious injuries than crashes that only involve smaller vehicles.

There are several different reasons for this, but most of them boil down to the common-sense fact that a trucker is trying to control a significantly larger amount of mass and weight than an auto or motorcycle driver. If they have to contend with a mechanical failure or other injury to their truck which causes them to lose cargo, this is an even bigger problem that many truckers simply find themselves unable to manage during an accident - depending on the cargo, it may be another obstacle for both the trucker and the auto driver to try and avoid.

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TX accident lawyerOn a recent morning, a car and a big rig collided on southbound I-35 near Cesar Chavez Street, necessitating the closure of all lanes for part of the morning. There were no injuries reported, but this is unusual for 18-wheeler accidents, as the amount of weight involved can be deadly. If you have been in an auto accident with a semi-truck, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.

Truck Accidents Are Deadly

The most recent available data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimate over 26,000 crashes involving large trucks in that year, with a disproportionate number of them resulting in injury or fatality. This is due to many different reasons - one is that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has documented a pattern of truck drivers operating their vehicles for longer than association regulations recommend. Another is the simple weight involved when 18-wheelers have accidents; especially with a full cargo, much more is involved than there would be with two smaller vehicles.

Texas, in particular, has high numbers of truck crashes, both because of the state’s sheer mileage of roads (leading to more traffic), and because many of those roads are rural (which in turn, increases the likelihood of speeding and other forms of reckless driving). However, both truck drivers and auto drivers may drive recklessly and wind up culpable for accidents.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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