| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

How do truck accidents commonly happen?

Truck accidents are highly destructive to property, and they often result in catastrophic and fatal injuries when they happen on Texas roads. For this reason, every Texas motorist needs to take great care when driving close to a big rig on the road. Additionally, truck drivers also need to be cautious and follow all truck driving rules and traffic standards. To help Texas motorists avoid getting into a crash, let’s take a look at how car drivers commonly cause truck accidents: — Operating a car in a truck’s no-zone: The “no-zone” is the areas around the truck — including the front, back and sides — where the truck driver can’t see you. — Making your lane change too fast: Big trucks simply cannot react as fast as a nimble and agile car. As such, drivers need to make sure that they don’t drive erratically around a big rig. — Merging mistakes: Again, trucks are not as agile as automobiles, and car drivers need to be careful whenever a truck is merging into traffic, or whenever a car is merging into traffic where trucks are present. — Dangerous passing habits: Car drivers need to be able to see ahead of them before they take the risk of passing. Without sufficient visibility, a head-on crash with a semi-truck could easily happen. — Driving in between two big trucks: Cars should never try to squeeze between two big trucks as it could result in a collision between the trucks, and that collision could also involve the more vulnerable motor vehicle driver. — Parking your disabled vehicle too close to passing traffic: Always be sure to give passing traffic plenty of room and move off the shoulder as far as possible. By staying aware of the above information, car drivers can avoid a lot of the most common semi-truck accidents. However, a negligent or unlawful truck driver could still cause a fatal or injurious crash. If you or a family member has been injured in such a collision, a personal injury attorney can assist you in pursuing financial compensation in civil court. Source: FindLaw, “Common Causes of Truck Accidents,” accessed May 11, 2017

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Higher demand for commercial drivers means lower driver standards

In recent years, there has been a relative boom in the domestic commercial trucking industry. With diesel costs down and consumer spending up, freight delivery service remains highly competitive and in demand for retailers, suppliers and manufacturers around the country. In fact, it has been difficult for trucking companies to secure the number of drivers they need in order to meet all of the shipment demands they currently have. Recent estimates from within the trucking industry indicate a shortage of roughly 60,000 drivers at the end of 2018, and many experts believe that demand will only increase. That lack of available staffing means that the commercial drivers on the road are working longer hours and tougher routes as their employers try to make the most with the staff they currently have, which could contribute to employee stress and exhaustion. It also means that trucking companies may decide to hire people who don’t have the experience or driving record to prove they will be safe on the road. The best drivers are in high demand and hard to hire Commercial driving is a grueling industry that often requires long hours away from home, few breaks and manual labor when loading and unloading deliveries. Truckers risk social isolation, as well as injuries to their arms, legs, hips and back through the course of their work. They are also subject to intense employer scrutiny and more legal requirements than other drivers. Professional drivers with excellent service and driving records can typically command top dollar and demand the routes that they prefer to drive. Companies actively compete to hire experienced drivers with solid, accident-free records. When there aren’t enough drivers with adequate experience and skill to go around, companies have to start bending their own hiring policies to fill vacant positions. Companies may compromise and hire unsafe drivers Most commercial trucking companies have strict standards when it comes to the driving record and criminal record of the people they hire. However, when companies can’t find enough new people, they may bend those rules to stay profitable. Drivers with previous serious issues, such as impaired driving, could wind up working as a commercial driver despite their history. Companies may even hire and train brand new workers to help them secure their commercial driver’s licenses and get them on the road as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that means that drivers may be out on the road moving loads with no real experience other than school under their belts. The problem with inexperienced drivers in commercial vehicles is that these large, heavy vehicles require more skill to operate than standard vehicles. They can pose substantial risks to the public, and crashes caused by commercial trucks often result in catastrophic damage to the other vehicles and severe injuries to their occupants.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Why are tractor-trailers so dangerous in a crash scenario?

All motor vehicle crashes between trucks and smaller vehicles carry significant injury risks. This is so in truck accidents involving utility trucks, work vans and construction vehicles. However, of all the different types of trucks involved in these accidents, tractor-trailers typically pose the most injury hazards to Texas motorists. Obviously, a small passenger automobile is no match for the sheer size and weight of tractor-trailers, but this is only part of the equation. There are several additional factors that can increase the risk of being involved in a truck accident. The following information illustrates why it may be difficult to avoid a collision with a semitruck. Braking A tractor-trailer carrying a full load can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. While a smaller vehicle can stop in about 140 feet while braking, a big rig might travel 200 feet before coming to a stop. In some cases, these trucks might even travel up to 450 feet before stopping, increasing the risk of a truck accident. Maneuvering The size of tractor-trailers makes it difficult for drivers to maneuver in traffic. They typically need much more room to make turns or switch lanes. In a potential accident scenario, this means that a truck driver may be unable to move in time to avoid colliding with a smaller car. Trucker visibility Large trucks by themselves pose visibility problems for drivers. When the truck is pulling a trailer, these visibility problems increase. Because a truck has so many blind spots, its driver may not see a smaller vehicle when switching lanes or turning. As you can see, driving a semi is challenging and fraught with many dangers. However, just because it may be difficult for truckers to see, brake and maneuver, it does not relieve them of liability when a preventable crash occurs. Those who have suffered injury in a truck accident may find a solution by discussing their case with an experienced legal professional.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Truck Accidents

Truckers Have Trouble Getting Enough Sleep

A drowsy trucker is a dangerous trucker. There are reasons that semi drivers have to log certain amounts of time off of the road. They’re supposed to be sleeping. Nodding off behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck puts everyone in danger. Unfortunately, even when truckers follow these rules, it is often difficult for them to get enough sleep to really be going at 100 percent. Lying on logs One problem is that some drivers will falsify their log books. Essentially, they’ll make sure the log books say they took enough time off, at the right times, but they’ll really spend some of that time working. They have deadlines. They have jobs to get done. They may feel pressure from the company to drive even when they’re tired. Forcing drivers to keep logs has helped, but as long as people are willing to lie, problems will persist. Not sleeping during a break A trucker may stop driving and take 10 hours off on break, but is that truck driver passed out comfortably in the sleeper cab? Maybe, but maybe not. Perhaps he or she put in as many miles as possible on the clock — the driver does get paid by the mile, after all — and stopped at the last possible second. Now the driver needs to fill up with gas, find somewhere to eat, find a place to shower and use the restroom, spend time on the phone or the computer, and much else. Ten hours on break could turn into just five or six hours of sleep. Searching for overnight parking takes time Another issues truck drivers face is that many of them all want to sleep at the same time. Some claim they have spent hours looking for a spot when the lots get full. This really throws off the driver’s schedule. Will he or she then be tempted to get up too early to get back on the road, trying to make up time? Unpredictable schedules Finally, since drivers have to work around shipping schedules, often waiting for crews to load up their trucks, they do not always have a predictable eight or 10 hours off to sleep. One driver said he had days with a comfortable 14 hours to sleep and other days with just four hours. A driver with too much time realistically can’t use it all to sleep, and that alarm wakes him or her up too early on the other days. Chaotic scheduling means tired drivers hit the interstates. Truck accidents Truck accidents often lead to very serious injuries and even fatalities. It is important for those involved to know all of their rights.  Fill out the form below to contact us by email or you can call us directly at 254-752-9688 or 1-800-INJURIES.

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