We have all seen big-rigs or 18-wheelers pulled to the side of the road, unable to move. Trucks, like any other vehicle, break down occasionally. When they do, they can pose a significant risk to other drivers.
It can be difficult for other drivers to see a vehicle on the side of the road, especially at night and in poorly lit areas. A truck pulled to the side of the road on a curve makes it difficult to notice in advance.
While drivers are not supposed to be driving on the Shoulder, a disabled commercial vehicle should not be sitting there.
Why do Trucks Stop on the Shoulder?
Trucks are not supposed to pull to the side of the road unless they have a mechanical problem; however, occasionally, a driver may pull over for other reasons.
For example, a driver who is fatigued may pull over. Sometimes a driver is lost and wants to pull over to find his way. Other times, a driver needs a break. Another driver can slam into the back of a parked truck with severe consequences.
A car can sometimes crash into a truck with such speed that it slides underneath the rig, shearing off the vehicle’s top. Many fatal truck accidents occur with parked trucks.
Laws for Trucks Parking on the Shoulder
Laws are in place that governs how and when a truck can park on the side of the road. Drivers must follow the Texas Transportation Code, also known as the Rules of the Road. Vehicles must use their hazard blinkers anytime they pull to the side of the road.
Drivers must Place Cones and Activate Hazzard Lights
Drivers must place hazard cones, triangles, or flares out behind the truck to warn drivers of their rig. They must put the hazard cones no later than ten minutes after stopping. Disabled trucks cannot remain at the side for any length of time. The driver must immediately request assistance to remove the vehicle from the road.
Big rigs are also required by law to have under-guard. The rails must comply with the latest guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The guard rail specifications were updated to protect drivers better. The guard is supposed to prevent vehicles from sliding underneath in a rear-end collision. The revised law includes more substantial bars adequately placed to avoid these problems.
Local Regulations Can Apply
Cities like Dallas and Austin have ordinances that limit where and when big trucks can park within the cities. These regulations can also help establish negligence for an accident caused by an illegally parked tractor-trailer. Talking with an attorney who knows the applicable rules is a must for an accident with a parked big rig.
Whose Fault is the Accident with a Parked Big Rig?
Generally, when a vehicle crashes into the rear of another vehicle, that driver might be responsible for the crash. That is not necessarily the case when a car hits a disabled truck on the shoulder.
If the truck does not have the proper hazard lights and cones, the driver and company may have a legal problem. Or, if the rearguard is not adequate, the truck driver or trucking company might hold some or all responsibility for the injuries.
Too, some accidents happen because a driver is following too closely and not allowing a safe distance between vehicles when one driver suddenly changes lanes.
How Our Experienced 18- Wheeler Lawyers Can Help
We handled many severe injuries and wrongful death cases when an unsuspecting motorist struck a parked truck. If the truck driver did not follow the law in parking or stopped in the traveled portion of the roadway, a claim might be appropriate after an injury accident.
Early investigation of a truck accident with a stalled or parked truck can make all the difference in successfully bringing a case.
Witnesses, skid marks, and even the black box computer data can all be vital to a case.
Consult a Truck Accident Lawyer in Houston
Call the top-rated personal injury lawyers at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free phone consultation.
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069