Driver Rear-Ends Parked Semi-Truck in Fatal Crash in Austin
Earlier this month, a driver was killed on Highway 71 in South Austin after colliding at a high speed with a semi-truck that was parked on the side of the road. In the crash, which happened at around 2 a.m., the driver’s vehicle ignited on impact and slid underneath the truck’s trailer. The accident is still under investigation, but the unusual combination of circumstances is a reminder of the many dangers that can lead to serious injuries and fatalities in South Central Texas car crashes, especially those involving collisions between passenger vehicles and large trucks.
Severe Injuries Are Common in Texas Truck Wrecks
Among the many factors that may contribute to the severity and outcome of a crash such as this include:
- Weight and size disparities between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, compared to an average weight of 4,000 pounds for a passenger vehicle. As such, the occupants of passenger vehicles often suffer the most severe injuries in a collision. The large size of a semi-truck also presents the risk of another vehicle sliding underneath. While most trucks are equipped with a rear underride bar to reduce this risk, and federal regulations may soon require annual inspections of underride bars to ensure they are functional, they are not always fully effective.
- Low visibility at night. The low light in the late night and early morning hours can make it more difficult to detect another vehicle, especially one that is parked on the shoulder. This means that drivers may have less time to react and avoid a collision. Driver fatigue is also common late at night, and this can further dull a driver’s senses and awareness.
- Traveling at high speed. High-speed crashes have a higher rate of fatality, in part due to the force of the impact. Speeding also makes it more difficult to slow or stop to prevent a rear-end collision.
- The risk of fire and explosion. Motor vehicles carry many flammable materials, including gasoline and oil, and these can ignite when fuel lines rupture in a high-impact crash. An explosion can cause severe burns and other injuries, and in some cases, immediate death.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a crash involving any of these characteristics, it is important to work with an attorney who can help you identify negligence on the part of any other drivers or parties involved. Evidence of negligence, including unsafe driving or faulty equipment, can help you build a case for fair compensation for damages you have suffered.
Contact a New Braunfels Personal Injury Attorney
At The Bettersworth Law Firm, we can help you seek a fair resolution to your car or truck accident case no matter how severe your injuries are. We will handle your case with personal care and attention as we fight for a settlement or verdict in your favor. Contact a New Braunfels car accident lawyer today for a free consultation at 830-606-0404.