The Bettersworth Law Firm

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS! CALL NOW!

Call Us830-606-0404   888-392-0039

New Braunfels San Marcos San Antonio Sequin Austin
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in causes of truck accidents

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.

...

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.

...

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.

...

TX injury lawyerRecently, a man was attempting to cross I-35 near 15th Street in downtown Austin when he was tragically struck and killed by a passing 18-wheeler. Law enforcement has divulged few details as of this writing, only stating that the pedestrian did not survive and that the 18-wheeler driver remained at the scene after the collision, presumably cooperating with the investigation. If you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler, your medical bills can be very serious, and it can make all the difference if you are able to bring suit to try and recover compensation for your injuries.

Multiple Statistics and Causes

18-wheeler accidents are unfortunately too common in the United States, but some states (like Texas) seem to experience more than others, between larger populations and simply having more roads - the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimates that the state contains nearly 80,000 miles of roadways, whereas a small state like Rhode Island has less than 10,000. Texas roads also boast higher speed limits than many, with the average being 75 mph, but some roads have 80 mph limits - and in one case, I-130, the limit is 85 mph.

In addition to environmental factors, drivers can cause many 18-wheeler accidents (both truck drivers and automobile drivers may be culpable). Underestimating the truck is one of the most common reasons for accidents - for example, following too closely, not giving enough stopping time to a truck (particularly those with three-part brakes), and driving in a truck’s blind spots. Other common factors that either cause or contribute to truck crashes are substance use, speeding, and distracted or aggressive driving.

...

Posted on in Truck Wrecks

TX accident lawyerRecently, a semi-truck overturned on I-10 near Culebra Road, spilling its cargo of wooden boards out onto the roadway. Law enforcement closed several lanes of I-10 at I-35, ensuring that no one had the opportunity to drive over the cargo while the accident - and the boards - were cleared. While as of this writing, no one appears to have been injured in this accident, it is important to be aware that accidents happen due to improperly secured or loose cargo with regularity. If you are unfortunate enough to be injured in this type of accident, it can be difficult to determine how best to proceed.

Stakes Are High

Accidents involving road debris are much more common than one might think. A 2016 study from AAA’s Foundation For Traffic Safety estimates that approximately 200,000 accidents occurred between 2011-2014 where road debris was a factor, with roughly 500 deaths occurring and almost 40,000 personal injuries. While many factors might play into how an accident happened, the fact remains that road debris can turn a mild accident into a bad one, and it means drivers must be aware of their surroundings at all times.

In general, most state laws hold that no vehicle can drive on a public road if their cargo is not properly secured, because of the potential danger that they would pose to the public. More specifically, federal regulations govern the securing of cargo, and failure to abide by them can lead to serious fines and license suspensions. This is on top of possible civil and criminal liability if the accident is serious enough. The driver of the truck that overturned on I-10 has all this to worry about on top of potentially incurring his own injuries.

...

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

Texas Trial Lawyesr Association State Bar of Texas San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top