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TX accident lawyerRecently, the driver of an 18-wheeler was killed when he lost control of his vehicle, causing it to fall off the upper level of I-10 West near Laredo Street. The vehicle cut across lanes of traffic, hit the retaining wall, and fell over onto the street below. Truck accidents like this are somewhat rare, but while the unfortunate driver was pronounced dead at the scene, there were apparently no other injuries sustained. If you are not as lucky, you may at least be able to seek compensation for the injuries you have suffered in such an accident.

Trucking Accidents Are Deadly

Because of the cargo weight and size of 18-wheelers, accidents where they are involved are much more likely to be dangerous or even deadly than those involving smaller automobiles. Data from 2017 estimates that there were approximately 4,200 fatal crashes involving large trucks (only 1 percent of the police-reported total), but there were approximately 56,000 trucks involved in injury crashes, which is a higher proportion of vehicles on the road compared to the number of cars involved in accidents.

Other factors in trucking accidents are very, very common on Texas roads - for example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that almost 60 percent of all trucking accidents occur on rural roads, and nearly 30 percent occurred on interstate highways, of which Texas has the most mileage in the United States. Rural roads lend themselves to both speeding and a phenomenon called ‘highway hypnosis’, both of which can play major roles in auto accidents.

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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.

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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

TX injury lawyerRecent law enforcement operations in Austin have shown that while most people are aware of the laws requiring pulling over for emergency vehicles, very few are aware that this also applies to tow trucks. Drivers are required to either move over or slow down to 20 miles per hour for tow trucks, but Austin police report almost “zero compliance” with this law. If you are ever in an accident involving a tow truck, you would not be barred from recovery solely due to not observing this law. However, it can play a role in reducing a defendant’s liability, so it is important to be aware of all the information in your case.

More Dangerous Than Believed

Statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), as reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), show that tow truck drivers are actually in an extremely dangerous profession. Reports released in February 2019 show that tow truck drivers are up to 15 times more likely to die on the job than the average private sector worker, and this manifests itself in a variety of ways. Many accidents occur simply because drivers do not pay enough attention to the road.

If you fail to move over or slow down for a tow truck, and you are stopped by law enforcement, you can be charged with a misdemeanor, usually with a fine of $500 or more, though if you cause an accident or bodily injury, you would then be charged with the appropriate offense (for example, if you struck someone with your car, you would be charged with assault or vehicular manslaughter). If you are struck by a tow truck, your remedy lies in civil law.

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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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