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TX accident lawyerA new highway is opening in Austin in 2019. State Highway 45 Southwest (SH 45 SW) is billed as an “environmentally sensitive” four-lane toll road that will connect MoPac (State Hwy Loop 1) to FM 1626, and in addition to water quality checks and other environmental initiatives designed to keep the nearby region in good shape, it will also boast a wrong-way detection and notification system. While construction is not yet complete, this may be a significant help toward getting Texas’ problem with wrong-way crashes under control.

Wrong-Way Accidents Are Deadly

One might think that wrong-way accidents would be less common than certain other types of car crashes, and they are, but they are much more deadly than the numbers would suggest. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) examined wrong-way driving nationwide in 2012-13, in which statistics showed that wrong-way crashes were much more likely to be fatal - for example, studies in California and Virginia found that wrong-way crashes were between 12 and 27 times more likely to be fatal than other types of accidents, such as side-impact or head-on.

In Texas specifically, the Texas Transportation Institute has visited the question of what causes wrong-way accidents. Perhaps their most notable finding was that in their sample, drivers who had been drinking or engaged in the use of other substances were overrepresented, making up between half and ¾ of the total number of wrong-way drivers examined. While obviously, it is a good idea to try and reduce the number of wrong-way crashes by cracking down on those who drink and drive, the proposed system to be installed on SH 45 SW prefers to take a proactive approach, sending out alerts both to the driver via red lights, and to law enforcement and other motorists via dispatches and TxDOT active signs.

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TX accident attorneyA crash near Elgin on Tuesday morning, December 11, took the lives of three people when a semi-truck failed to yield the right of way as it tried to turn onto Roy Davis Road and struck a Chevy Tahoe. The driver and two passengers in the Tahoe were pronounced dead at the scene, with the truck driver sustaining no reported injuries. This is unfortunately common with regard to accidents involving trucks; the sheer size of the vehicle often protects the driver, while those in smaller vehicles are injured. If you have been through this, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.

Truck Accident Statistics

For roughly the past decade, there has been a steady increase in the number of fatal road accidents involving large trucks, up approximately 30 percent from 2009. Injury accidents have also sharply risen since then, going from 60,000 in 2009 to approximately 119,000 in 2016. Texas mirrors this pattern as its cities continue to grow and evolve, though many of its roads do not (tangled traffic is a major cause of auto accidents, and many Texas highways have been recognized as among the most dangerous in the country, especially I-35).

The accident at U.S. 290 and Roy Davis does share some of the most common characteristics of fatal truck accidents, most notably that it occurred during the day, that it occurred on a weekday, and that it occurred on an interstate highway. The significant majority of fatal truck accidents occurred, in the data set, on weekdays during the daylight hours (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM), and a significant minority - about one-third - of fatal truck accidents occurred on interstate highways. Also, the first harmful event in this accident was a collision with another vehicle - in other words, no one did anything unlawful or inappropriate until one vehicle struck the other. While this may seem inconsequential, it matters because more common types of accidents are often less difficult for insurance companies to deal with.

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Posted on in Car Wrecks

TX accident lawyerTexas has weather that is often changing, especially during this time of year when rain or even snow can come out of nowhere. If you are in a car crash on Texas roads during the winter months, it is a definite possibility that poor weather or conditions have played a role in the accident occurring. Consulting an experienced attorney well versed in these types of cases is a good idea, as sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether you have a case or not.

Bad Weather Can Be Deadly

Statistics from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show very clearly that the risk of having an accident in poor weather is quite serious. “Weather-related” auto accidents in the years studied made up approximately 21 percent of all the crashes that occurred in the United States, and roughly 16 percent of the fatalities. Precipitation and wet pavement were the conditions that consistently impacted the highest number of traffic factors, both for drivers on the roads and for those planning around them. Examples include driver stopping distance and traction, but also traffic signal timing, road treatment strategy (to salt or not to salt?) and the like.

This may not sound like much, but the data averages out to a significant loss of life and overall casualty count, with over 5,000 killed and over 410,000 injured per year. That is a serious amount of potentially avoidable injury, with countless hours of productivity lost. Employers find their workforce tied up at one of the busiest times of the year in many industries. It is incumbent on every driver to exercise due caution when on the road in these types of conditions - however, many simply do not, and if you are injured by one of them, you may be able to make them regret it.

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TX accident lawyerAt midnight on I-10, near UTSA Blvd in San Antonio, a rollover accident occurred that left one driver pinned in his vehicle, requiring firefighters to free him by cutting the car open. He was then taken to University Hospital for his injuries, though the current extent of them is not known as of this writing. Rollover accidents of this type are by far the deadliest type of car crash, and even if you survive the impact, you may come away with severe injuries. If your accident is due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to try and seek compensation for your medical expenses from them while you try to get back on your feet.

Statistics Show Rollovers Are Dangerous

The statistics on rollover accidents do not lie; a much higher proportion of fatalities occur from rollovers than befits the small percentage of accidents they make up. In other words, there are a disproportionate number of fatalities caused by rollover accidents, given that so few crashes on U.S. highways are of the rollover type. Statistics from 2016 (the most recent available data) show that rollovers made up only 1.5 percent of all the accidents on U.S. roads - but almost 9 percent of the death total.

There are multiple possible reasons why this is the case. Rollover accidents involve the entire vehicle, whereas a T-bone or head-on collision may avoid causing too much impact to those in the opposite side of the car or truck. Seatbelts also offer less protection in a rollover crash than they do in other types of accidents, given that rollovers are technically non-collision accidents and thus no real impact occurs. Rollover accidents most often occur when someone loses control of their vehicle, rather than being struck or actively striking a fixed object.

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Posted on in Truck Wrecks

TX accident lawyerOn the night of December 6, northbound I-35 had to be closed near Oltorf Street in Austin, after an 18-wheeler lost control and crashed into the cinderblock barrier in the middle of the interstate, pushing the blocks into the lanes themselves. As of this writing, there appear to be no injuries, but it is very easy to envision such a crash injuring many if certain factors were different. If you are injured in a crash such as this with an 18-wheeler, it can be difficult to determine whether you have a claim for compensation.

Many Possible Causes

While each accident is different, there are several causes that seem to keep showing up in the relevant statistics. One of the most common is simple distracted driving - any driver is prone to change the radio, to look in the mirror, to eat, to do any manner of potentially distracting things instead of keeping their eyes on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 481,000 drivers are using their cell phone while driving at any given time - it stands to reason that some of them will be 18-wheeler drivers.

Other common causes for trucking accidents include poor roads, which can affect big rigs even more than automobiles simply because of their size, reckless driving - whether on the part of the truck driver or someone else and substance abuse. Also, perhaps most commonly, bending or ignoring the rules set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) regarding driver hours, which can lead to drivers operating on very little sleep or with shoddy maintenance done on their vehicles in order to move quickly enough to meet a client deadline.

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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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