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TX accident lawyerRecently, a fiery 18-wheeler crash blocked all the lanes of Ben White Boulevard at South First Street, snarling traffic for the morning commute. While no injuries were reported, the truck sustained significant damage after a fuel line was compromised. The fact that no injuries were reported in this type of wreck is remarkable, as crashes involving 18-wheelers are notoriously dangerous. If you are injured in a wreck involving a large truck or semi, you will often have serious injuries and medical bills, and bringing suit against the driver may be a way to seek compensation.

Truck Accidents Are Deadly

The most recent available data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show approximately 4,500 fatal accidents involving large trucks in that year, with the average fatality count being 1.12 per accident. However, 83 percent of the deaths in 18-wheeler accidents were not large truck occupants - in other words, automobile drivers and pedestrians were the ones most likely to be injured or killed if involved in a crash with a large truck. This is not unexpected; the sheer size and velocity of an 18-wheeler, especially if the trailer is full, far outstrips that of most passenger vehicles.

In Texas, the number of fatalities from large truck-related accidents has steadily been climbing in recent years, to a high of 649 in 2017. While some of this has been due to driver error, such as speeding, driving while distracted or sleepy, and substance abuse, another reason postulated for the rise is the opening of SH-130, with its higher speed limit, which has led to an uptick in traffic-related fatalities in the state in general. 18-wheelers, with their combination of heft and speed, will almost always be dangerous to other vehicles or people on the road if their drivers lose control.

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TX crash lawyerRecently, a man suffered serious injuries in a truck accident on the northeast side of San Antonio after a crash with a cement truck. The man was transported to the hospital by emergency responders in critical condition. At the time of the collision, he was “entrapped,” and emergency responders had to extract him from his vehicle.

This recent collision with a cement truck is not an anomaly—other recent collisions with cement trucks have occurred between San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Austin. At the same time, other serious truck crashes have been reported in those areas and nearby. The Texas truck accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm want to provide you with some additional information about recent trucking crashes and their implications for driving in Texas.

Recent Large Truck Crashes in the San Antonio Area

The cement truck accident serves as a reminder that trucking crashes in Texas are a significant cause of personal injuries and fatalities. To be sure, just two days before that cement truck collision occurred in San Antonio, a 21-year-old San Antonio resident was killed in a crash with an 18-wheeler in South Texas. The 21-year-old fatality victim had been the passenger in a Mercedes-Benz that veered from its lane and crashed into the right front side of an 18-wheeler truck traveling in a southbound lane on U.S. Highway 59.

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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

TX injury lawyerOn October 3, a man was killed after he tried to pass an 18-wheeler on I-35, winding up going under the vehicle on the right side. The car wound up coming to a stop just off the Manor Road exit, after sustaining severe damage. The driver was found deceased in the car. While there are no charges pending against the truck driver, this type of accident does illustrate how easy it is to misjudge distances and speeds when dealing with large trucks, and how it can be very easy for either you or the trucker to make a mistake. If you are involved in an accident with a big rig, understanding your options is a good idea going forward.

Numerous Causes of Accidents

If one examines statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), one can see that in approximately 5,430 fatal crashes in 2017, 433 (approximately 8 percent) involved semi-trucks or trucks with trailers. For injury crashes, the number lowers - of approximately 135,934 crashes involving injury, 3,325 involved big rigs (approximately 2 percent). It may not sound like much, but only passenger cars (including pickup trucks and SUVs) and motorcycles were responsible for more. Across these categories, one can infer numerous causes - for example, a lower percentage of injury crashes involve large trucks because the accidents involving large trucks tend to be more serious (thus, causing more fatalities than injuries).

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Texas injury lawyerOn the evening of March 30, one person was killed in a crash with an 18-wheeler in Caldwell County, southwest of Lockhart. That person has since been identified as a San Antonio man, who was the driver. He was killed when his truck flipped and struck a guardrail, and was allegedly not wearing a seatbelt. While it can often be stereotyped as a problem only seen in reckless teenagers, not wearing a seatbelt can contribute to injury and death, especially when dealing with enormous vehicles like 18-wheelers.

Seatbelts Save Lives

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) name auto accidents as one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. for those between ages 0-54 every year, and since statistics have been kept regarding seatbelt use, they have been illuminating, to say the least. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that approximately 14,000 lives can be estimated to have been saved through seatbelt use in 2015, with even more being saved if usage were 100 percent. While this percentage might drop somewhat if one examines only truck crashes, given an 18-wheeler’s heft and forward velocity, it is still noteworthy.

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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

Texas accident atttorneyIn most accidents involving 18-wheeler trucks, a rear end collision can easily prove fatal to any passenger, simply because many commercial cars and trucks lack any substantial trunk or back end that can absorb a fearsome impact. However, an accident on I-35 near Pearsall, south of San Antonio, shows that multiple trucks colliding can be just as bad if not worse. On August 3, 2017, three or four semi trucks (accounts vary) came together in a chain rear-end collision as debris on the road required a sudden traffic slowdown. One driver was killed, and the others were transported to the nearest hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Even Truckers Must Be Careful

What accidents like this show us is that even truckers must exercise due care at all time, despite the stereotype that nothing can injure the driver of a semi-truck. Rear-end collisions, in particular, do not discriminate; any impact from the rear that is strong enough to be felt (and strong enough to cause a semi truck to jackknife or drift out of its lane) will leave significant marks on drivers and passengers. The most common injury sustained in rear-end collisions is whiplash, which can cause significant soft tissue damage that lasts.

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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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