Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney Dax Garza
Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney, Dax Garza

It’s time to hold the trucking industry accountable for the role its plays in dangerous truck accidents every day. If you or a loved one is a victim of a truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Houston Truck accident attorney Dax Garza offers Free Consultations for all truck accident victims.

West Texas Oilfield Truck Accident

$6.20 Million

18-Wheeler Truck Wreck in Houston

$5.92 Million

Texas Trucking Accident

$2.19 Million

Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents

In the blink of an eye, a large truck can cause a roadway accident. Because even “minor” trucking accidents can cause life-altering injuries, trucking companies and truck drivers have a responsibility to exercise great caution. Trucking companies must perform all required maintenance and routinely inspect every vehicle before every trip to ensure its fitness for the road. Additionally, trucking companies should require routine driving safety courses for all drivers.

Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:

Texas Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck Design

The design of large trucks can not only cause a catastrophic accident itself, but it can also increase the severity of

the resulting injuries and damages. Due to their tall height, weight, and sheer size, large trucks – such as 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers –

can be extremely difficult to control, are unable to stop quickly, and cannot be maneuvered the way passenger vehicles can. Furthermore, the speed and weight of a big rig cause trucking accidents to occur with an amplified impact.

Driver Fatigue

Operating any motor vehicle requires attention, but operating a large truck requires even more responsibility. Large trucks can weigh 20-30 times more than a passenger vehicle; therefore, they have an increased ability to cause serious injuries and death. Part of driving large trucks safely is taking adequate rest. Truck drivers are often required to move cargo over long distances within tight deadlines; and, if they do not adhere to federal regulations regarding maximum driving time, drivers can become fatigued and lose consciousness and control of their vehicles. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found truck drivers behind the wheel for longer than eight hours are twice as likely to crash or cause an accident. Under current federal regulations, large truck drivers are allowed to be behind the wheel for as long as 11 hours at a time.

Equipment Failure

In addition to needing a rested and observant navigator, a large truck can only be as safe as its parts. Equipment failure causes numerous preventable trucking accidents every year. Through routine maintenance and inspection of all vehicle parts, truck equipment failure accidents can be avoided. Faulty braking mechanisms are the most commonly defective component part of large trucks. In a post-crash analysis of large truck accidents, IIHS found almost 55% of trucks had at least one mechanical violation and 30% had at least one violation serious enough to take the truck out of service. When trucking companies and drivers fail to routinely inspect their trucks and cargo equipment, they risk the lives of all who share the road with them. A truck carrying a cargo load that is unable to stop due to malfunctioning brakes could cause a fatal accident in mere seconds.

Distracted Driving

Truck drivers are just as susceptible to distractions as drivers of passenger vehicles. Distractions can range from using cell phones, changing the radio station, or eating. Regardless of the distraction, it is dangerous and should not be done while driving. While some cities in Texas have passed local laws making it illegal to use a cell phone while driving, Houston has not, which means truck drivers on our roads and freeways can use their smartphones and other mobile devices to play music, get directions, and take calls.

Speeding

The dangers of speeding are well known, but this doesn’t stop people from doing it. Trucks require a longer time to come to a complete stop than passenger vehicles, so it is especially important that truck drivers obey posted speed limits. Unfortunately, not all of them do and this leads to deadly accidents. Aggressive driving leads to 5 percent of all truck accidents nationally. This can include speeding but also swerving, tailgating, honking, and more.

Failure To Check Blind Spots

Truck drivers are trained to check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes; however, even the most experienced truck driver can forget to look before moving. Even beyond the known blind spots, the cargo a rig is carrying can also obstruct a driver’s view.

Overloaded Cargo

There are very specific weight limits for loading large trucks. Overloaded trucks are dangerous for a number of reasons. First, they can throw off a truck’s center of balance, making it more likely to roll over. Overloaded trucks can also cause a driver to lose control of the truck due to the weight of the cargo. Finally, overloaded trucks take more time to come to a complete stop.

Poor Maintenance

Trucks spend nearly every day on the road. With so much use, these vehicles need regular maintenance to keep them running properly and safely. Companies that do not perform regular maintenance on their trucks are putting everyone on the roadways at risk. The most common problem found due to lack of maintenance is brake issues.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is dangerous regardless of the vehicle. Truck drivers have a huge responsibility to drive safely, and driving under the influence can easily cause fatal accidents. With a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the standard for intoxication is lower – a truck driver can be found legally drunk with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of only 0.4 percent.

Tire Defects or Blowouts

18-wheelers and other semi-trucks have a lot of tires to increase their stability. Defective tires cause almost one-third of all truck accidents. Worn tires can cause blowouts, but tire blowouts can also be caused by overloading, road hazards, and more.

New Routes

A new tour route is one of the top three most common causes of truck accidents. If a trucking company is rushing a driver to move their cargo load quickly to maximize profits, but the driver is unfamiliar with the route they are maneuvering, crashes can result. Looking down at a GPS because you are unfamiliar can cause distracted driving accidents.

Road and Weather Conditions

Road construction and confusing traffic signals can cause truck accidents as can severe weather that diminishes visibility. Weather is unpredictable and truckers must be prepared to react to it. Snow, ice, flooding, and heavy rain can and do all affect road conditions and the time required to react to changes ahead of a big rig.

Common Trucking Accident Injuries

Due to the size and weight of large trucks, they can catastrophically injure or even kill victims upon impact. For this reason, motor vehicle occupants involved in trucking accidents disproportionately suffer severe injuries and fatalities compared to large truck occupants. According to IIHS, 4,136 people were killed in truck accidents in 2018 alone – 67% were passenger vehicle occupants, 15% were pedestrians or cyclists, but only 16% of all fatalities were truck drivers or occupants.

  • Paralysis
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Amputations
  • Burn injuries
  • Deep cuts and lacerations
  • Internal injuries

Know Your Rights After a Truck Accident

Truck accident victims have a long road to recovery. They will face huge physical, emotional, and financial obstacles. Victims and their families do not have to suffer alone. Those who were injured by a truck have the legal right to pursue compensation from negligent truck drivers, the companies that employ them, and other responsible parties.

After a truck accident, injury victims and the families of those who may have been killed need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. All big rigs engaged in interstate commerce have to carry certain types and amounts of insurance, so those insurance companies and the trucking companies themselves will arrive at the accident scene quickly doing all they can to protect their interests. The victims of truck accidents need an experienced truck accident lawyer to protect their rights, preserve evidence, and ensure an insurance company or trucking company does not try to take advantage of them.

Contact Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Dax Garza Today

Contact our the truck accident lawyers today to for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you recover financial compensation for your damages.

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