What Causes Truck Accidents?
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Truck accidents in Texas can have devastating consequences, often resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities. Understanding these accidents’ common causes is crucial for drivers and victims seeking justice. While various factors can contribute to a truck accident, certain causes are more prevalent in Texas due to its vast road network and heavy traffic. Here are the top causes of truck accidents in the Lone Star State.
Determining the Cause of a Truck Accident
For over 35 years, the Baumgartner Law Firm has been protecting the rights of truck accident victims. In your case, one of the first things we will do is determine who is at fault and why. Texas is a fault state, which requires that we prove negligence by the truck driver, trucking company, or some third party.
Based upon our three decades of expertise in truck accident lawsuits, these are the most common causes of truck accidents in Texas.
Long hours on the road, demanding schedules and tight delivery deadlines often lead truck drivers to push their limits and drive while fatigued. This can impair their judgment, slow their reaction time, and increase the likelihood of accidents.
Distractions like texting, talking on the phone, eating, or even adjusting the radio can divert a truck driver’s attention from the road and increase the risk of a collision. With larger vehicles like trucks, the consequences of distracted driving can be catastrophic.
Excessive speed is a significant factor in many truck accidents. Trucks require more time to stop due to their size and weight, making high-speed situations especially dangerous. Speeding reduces the time available for a truck driver to react to changing traffic conditions and increases the force of impact in case of a crash. Getting the black box or event data recorder is vital if speeding is suspected after a truck crash.
Neglecting regular maintenance and failing to address mechanical issues can lead to truck accidents. Brake failures, tire blowouts, faulty lights, or steering problems can all contribute to a loss of control and result in a serious accident. Big rigs that are not in safe operating condition should be placed out-of-service and not driven until safe.
Truck drivers must inspect the vehicle for safety issues every day, and trucking companies must ensure the inspections are done and safety issues addressed.
Truck drivers require specialized training to operate these large vehicles safely. Lack of proper training can lead to poor decision-making, improper handling of the truck, and an increased risk of accidents. Another issue our experienced truck accident lawyer in Houston looks closely at is the training the driver has received. We have handled numerous cases where the trucking company’s negligence in hiring the driver was an issue in our case.
Overloaded or Improperly Loaded Trucks
Overloading a truck or improperly distributing the cargo’s weight can harm the truck’s stability and maneuverability. This can lead to rollovers, jackknifes, or cargo spilling onto the road, causing accidents. Baumgartner Law Firm has helped many truck drivers injured after a rollover accident.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving a truck under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a dangerous and illegal practice. Impaired judgment, slower reflexes, and decreased coordination can all contribute to truck accidents. Truckers must get drug tested after fatal accidents or if they were cited with a violation for causing the wreck.
Bad Weather Conditions
Texas is known for its unpredictable weather, including heavy rain, fog, and high winds. These adverse weather conditions can make driving more challenging for truck drivers, increasing the risk of accidents. The regulations require a driver to stop driving if the conditions require it.
Improperly Parked Trucks
Many truck accidents happen when the truck driver has problems with their vehicle and pulls over to the side of the road. The safety regulations specify actions the truck driver must follow to prevent a crash. When the driver does not follow the rules, accidents happen.
Failure to Follow Safety Rules and Traffic Laws
Violating traffic laws like running red lights, failing to yield, or improper lane changes can lead to truck accidents. Truck drivers must follow all traffic regulations to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.
If you have been involved in a truck accident in Texas, seeking legal representation from a top-rated personal injury attorney is crucial. A skilled attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident, gather evidence, and fight for your rights to ensure you receive full damages.
What are the Most Frequent Types of Truck Crashes in Texas?
In Texas, truck accidents are a common occurrence on our roads. Due to the large number of commercial trucks and the extensive highway system in our state, drivers need to be aware of the most frequent types of truck accidents to stay safe on the road.
A rear-end collision is one of Texas’s most common types of truck accidents. This occurs when a truck crashes into the back of another vehicle. Due to the large size and weight of commercial trucks, these accidents can result in serious injuries or even fatalities.
Jackknife accidents happen when a truck’s trailer swings out to the side, forming a 90-degree angle with the truck cab. This can occur due to sudden braking, slippery road conditions, or driver error. Jackknife accidents are particularly dangerous as they can block multiple lanes of traffic and involve multiple vehicles.
Underride collisions happen when a smaller vehicle slides under the trailer of a truck. These accidents are often catastrophic, as the top of the smaller vehicle can be sheared off upon impact. Underride collisions can occur when a truck suddenly stops or a smaller vehicle fails to maintain a safe distance.
due to various factors, including speeding, sharp turns, or uneven road surfaces. Rollover accidents are particularly dangerous as they can result in serious injuries or fatalities for the truck driver and other vehicles involved.
Wide Turn Accidents
Wide turn accidents occur when a truck driver fails to properly navigate a turn, causing the truck to swing out and collide with other vehicles or objects. These accidents are often the result of driver error or negligence and can lead to significant damage and injuries.
Tire blowouts can cause a truck driver to lose control of their vehicle, leading to an accident. The sudden loss of tire pressure can cause the truck to veer into other lanes or even roll over. Tire blowouts can occur due to improper tire maintenance or manufacturing defects.
Blind Spot Accidents
Trucks have large blind spots, or “no-zones,” where drivers cannot see other vehicles. Accidents can happen when truck drivers change lanes or merge without checking their blind spots. These accidents often result in serious injuries or fatalities for drivers in smaller vehicles.
Load Shift Accidents
When improperly secured or loaded, cargo can shift during transit and cause the truck to become unbalanced. This can lead to the truck tipping over or losing control, resulting in an accident. Load shift accidents can be caused by improper loading techniques or inadequate cargo securing.
If you have been involved in any truck accident in Texas, seeking legal representation from a top-rated personal injury attorney is crucial. They can help you navigate the complex legal process.
Driver Fatigue as a Cause of Truck Accidents?
Driver fatigue is a significant contributing factor to truck accidents in Texas. When truck drivers are tired, their reaction times, concentration, and decision-making abilities are impaired, increasing the likelihood of an accident. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents, responsible for approximately 13% of all commercial motor vehicle crashes.
Long hours on the road, tight schedules, and demanding delivery deadlines can lead to truck drivers not getting enough restorative sleep. Fatigue can be caused by various factors, including lack of sleep, untreated sleep disorders, working long hours without breaks, and irregular sleep patterns.
It is estimated that fatigue-related crashes in the trucking industry cost billions of dollars in property damage, medical bills, and lost productivity every year. Preventing truck accidents in Texas starts with holding drivers and motor carriers accountable for breaking the rules.
Federal Safety Regulations Limit the Hours of a Commercial Driver
To address the issue of driver fatigue, the FMCSA has implemented regulations that limit the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road without taking a break. These regulations, known as the Hours of Service (HOS) rules, ensure truck drivers have enough rest and sleep to operate their vehicles safely.
However, despite these regulations, driver fatigue continues to cause truck accidents in Texas. The impact of driver fatigue cannot be underestimated, as it impairs a truck driver’s ability to react quickly and make sound judgments while on the road. This can lead to devastating consequences for the truck driver and other motorists sharing the road.
Truck drivers are often under pressure to meet tight deadlines and cover long distances within a limited timeframe. As a result, many drivers compromise on sleep and rest, leading to fatigue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is responsible for thousands of accidents and fatalities each year.
One of the first issues we investigate after a truck crash is the driver’s hours of service. We have found many instances of drivers cheating on the hours and driving when they were legally prohibited from operating a big rig.
Do I Need an Attorney to File a Lawsuit After a Crash Involving a Semi-Truck Trailer?
Yes, it is highly recommended that you hire a lawyer when filing a lawsuit after a crash involving a semi-truck. Dealing with personal injury cases resulting from truck accidents can be complex, and having a knowledgeable Houston truck accident lawyer on your side can greatly increase your chances of success.
Although the laws governing truck accident claims may share similarities with those about car accidents, the legal process for truck accidents is notably different. One key aspect is that commercial trucking companies often have their adjustors and may self-insure for a substantial amount. This means that a significant portion of the damages awarded in a lawsuit may come directly from the company’s funds. As a result, these companies diligently scrutinize lawsuits for weaknesses, aiming to avoid payouts whenever possible.
Additionally, an attorney will play a crucial role in establishing the employment status of the truck driver involved in the accident. It is essential to prove that the driver was an employee of the commercial trucking company rather than an independent contractor. Also, to determine if excess insurance coverage may apply to the claims.
Given these complexities and potential challenges, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney who specializes in truck accidents and understands how to handle the legal process effectively. Expert truck accident law firms will possess the necessary expertise and experience to build a strong case on your behalf, increasing your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Baumgartner Law Firm for Your Truck Accident Case?
Our truck accident attorney has handled lawsuits against truck drivers and trucking companies for over 35 years. We have represented hundreds of victims of collisions with semi-trucks and other commercial vehicle accidents. Throughout all that time, we have remained UNDEFEATED in truck accident cases.
Put your trust in a peer-reviewed preeminent-rated trucking accident attorney who will treat you like family.
Get an Expert Truck Accident Lawyer with Decades of Experience
Baumgartner Law Firm has won truck accident injury and wrongful death cases for over 35 years. We know how to win truck accident lawsuits and are undefeated in truck wreck cases. Don’t delay; you should immediately hire a truck accident lawyer.
Put Baumgartner Law Firm’s expertise in trucking accident cases to work on your injury case.
6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069
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