Houston Truck Accidents | Lawyers
Semi-truck drivers are some of the most dangerous drivers on the road today. Their danger does not come in the form of deliberate acts of recklessness, but instead from the fact that they are operating 18 wheelers with very little rest, across long stretches of highway, at all hours of the day and night. Because of these issues with driver fatigue, a higher percentage of truck accidents are being blamed on the driver’s lack of sleep, which is causing drivers to fall asleep while at the wheel behind tons of moving metal.
The driver and passengers in an automobile are at a major disadvantage when they are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler truck. Even if the collision occurs at a slow speed, injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle can be devastating. These types of incidents have led to spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, and this affects the victim and the rest of his or her family forever. Unfortunately, people sometimes lose their lives.
Common Causes of Houston Truck Accidents
A Houston auto accident may or may not be the truck driver’s fault, but officials who study traffic accidents have discovered six common reasons that a driver or their trucking company may be liable for the collision.
1. Turning the Vehicle
When it comes time for a large 18-wheeler to make a right or left turn, the driver may need to use at least two lanes. Sometimes, motorists in smaller vehicles are unprepared for this occurrence, and if they are in the truck’s way, they could be crushed.
2. Driver Fatigue
Recent studies have demonstrated that on average, truck drivers sleep 4.8 hours each night. This insufficient amount of sleep has prompted lawmakers to pass ordinances that require truckers to limit their time on the roads so they have the time to get a safer amount of sleep. Even so, some drivers of 18-wheelers remain behind the wheel longer than they are allowed by law because their trucking companies often require them to arrive at their destinations by a specified time. This fact can also motivate truck drivers to drive in a dangerous fashion.
3. Not Enough Stopping Time
A large 18-wheeler truck needs more distance to stop than smaller vehicles due to its size and weight. They do not always have enough time because some truck drivers do not keep a safe distance behind traffic in front of them. Therefore, they often run into the back of the vehicle in front of them. Since 18-wheelers weigh so much more than smaller automobiles, rear-end collisions involving large trucks are always more devastating than rear-end collisions between two smaller vehicles.
4. The Jack-Knife Phenomenon
If a truck driver has to stop suddenly, the load behind them can shift so much that the trailer can begin to slide to the side. Serious damages result when this happens because a smaller vehicle that is sharing the road cannot move out of the truck’s way in time to avoid a serious collision.
Truck drivers who wish to make their deadlines may take illegal stimulants to remain awake, but these substances cause symptoms of intoxication, and this impairs their driving and decision-making skills. In addition, they often fall asleep while driving when these stimulants wear off.
Over time, the treads on an 18-wheeler’s tires wear out, but sometimes they can be defective or recaps. In both instances, blow-outs can occur while the truck is on the road, and this creates a very perilous situation for others. Blow-outs can force the 18-wheeler to stop abruptly so that vehicles behind it are forced to run off the road or into each other. Because of the size of 18 wheeler tires, a blowout can leave dangerous debris on the roadway. Blow-outs can also cause large trucks to roll over.
Contact the DeSimone Law Office
If you or a loved one are injured in a collision with a large truck, you may be entitled to monetary compensation from the trucking company or their insurance company.
The Houston vehicle accident lawyers at the DeSimone Law Office have more than 20 years of experience obtaining fair settlements for their clients. Our attorneys have filed thousands of auto accident claims in Houston and are prepared to fight against the unfair tactics that trucking and insurance companies often employ to avoid offering a reasonable settlement.
Contact an experienced and skilled Houston traffic accident lawyer at the DeSimone Law Office today at 713-526-0900. You can also fill out the short form on our website for a free consultation.