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Disabled Trucks Pose Danger for Drivers

Warnings required of big rigs stopped on roadway


We have all seen big-rigs 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 impossible to notice in advance. While drivers are not supposed to be driving on the Shoulder, a disabled 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 fatigued may pull over. Sometimes a driver is lost and wants to pull over to find his way. Other times, a driver simply 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 it slides underneath the rig, shearing off the top of the vehicle.


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 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 rails installed. The rails must comply with the latest guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The guard rail specifications were updated to better protect drivers. The guard is supposed to prevent vehicles from sliding underneath with a rear-end collision. The revised law includes more substantial bars adequately placed to avoid these problems.


Whose Fault is the Accident?


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, they may have a problem. Or if the rearguard is not adequate, the truck driver or trucking company might hold some or all responsibility for the injuries.


Consult a Texas Truck Accident Lawyer


If you were hurt in a truck crash, take action quickly. Contact our top-ranked truck accident lawyers for guidance, and we will help protect your rights. Call Baumgartner Law Firm for a free phone consultation today. (281) 587-1111!