CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYERS IN TEXAS FOR FREE
Trucking accidents often result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries for those involved in the accident. Worse, many of these accidents could often have been prevented if drivers took more care to drive safely and prevent any accident while trucking companies similarly hold drivers accountable to take such care.
If you or a loved one was injured in a trucking accident in Texas, you should call the skilled Texas truck accident lawyers from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
HOW COMMON ARE TRUCK ACCIDENTS?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 5,096 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes in 2018 throughout the United States. Meanwhile, more than half of all large truck collisions occur in rural areas while over a quarter of these large truck crashes take place on interstate highways.
In 2018, approximately 4,136 people died in large truck crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and using data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). These fatalities represented about eleven percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths across the country in 2018. Of these fatalities, two-thirds of all deaths were occupants of passenger vehicles, while about 16% were truck occupants and 15% of victims were bicyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians. Since 2009, the number of people who died in large truck crashes was approximately 31% higher in 2018 than in 2009, while the number of deceased truck occupants increased over 50 percent during the same period. Perhaps most striking, the IIHS reported that 96% of all fatalities involving two-vehicle collisions between passenger vehicles and large trucks were the occupants of the passenger vehicles.
HOW CAN TRUCK DRIVERS PREVENT TRUCK ACCIDENTS?
Truck drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road to avoid causing an accident. Given the size and force of large trucks, this duty is especially important as negligence on the part of a truck driver may easily cost someone else their life. Some common tips that may help truckers prevent truck accidents while driving include:
One of the key steps to avoid accidents is to remain focused. Truck drivers must avoid distracted driving just like any other driver. Distractions like texting and driving, reaching for dropped items on the floor, or performing any task that may take a trucker’s attention off the road can be very dangerous. Drivers must remain focused on the road and adjust their radio or other entertainment, send any messages, and take any other necessary actions before they begin driving so that your full attention can remain on the road.
Trucks are already dangerous and deadly objects if they are involved in an accident. However, their danger only increases with speed. A simple step that truck drivers can take for truck accident prevention is to obey all speed limits while driving. Truck drivers should also take care to adjust their speed when driving in poor weather conditions such as heavy rain, fog, or other conditions that may limit visibility on the road. While delivering cargo to its destination quickly is part of the job, drivers should be careful to avoid speeding to get there.
Avoid Fatigued Driving
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets strict standards for commercial truck drivers across the United States, with many of these regulations directed toward truck accident prevention through steps such as preventing truck drivers from driving fatigued. These rules and regulations are intended to ensure drivers get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel because a drowsy driver may be dangerous as falling asleep behind the wheel can quickly lead to victims suffering catastrophic injuries or even dying as a result of a truck accident caused by a drowsy truck driver. As with avoiding speeding, finishing your delivery is more important than avoiding sleep to cut time off your delivery and ultimately causing an accident.
Never Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
Truck drivers, as with any drivers, should never get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Intoxicated driving impairs the senses, slows reaction times, and impacts judgment, making it imperative to never operate a large truck while intoxicated. Aside from driving drunk, drivers should also avoid taking dangerous stimulants such as amphetamines or other drugs to stay awake while driving. Drivers are required to get enough sleep, and the use of such dangerous stimulants cannot replace this need for sleep. These drugs may impair the driver’s judgment, leading truck drivers to take increased risks such as speeding, changing lanes haphazardly, or other dangerous maneuvers. Finally, taking these stimulants may actually make it more likely that you will fall asleep at the wheel once the temporary effects of these stimulants wear off.
HOW CAN OTHER DRIVERS PREVENT TRUCK ACCIDENTS?
In addition to efforts by truck drivers to prevent collisions with other vehicles, drivers of other vehicles may also take steps for truck accident prevention, such as:
- Stay out of the truck’s blind spot
- Avoid any distractions while driving
- Always leave space when passing in front of a truck
- Allow more space when following a truck than you may with another passenger vehicle
- Pass quickly when passing a truck without lingering in the lane beside the truck longer than necessary
- Let a truck pass you or get in front of you if it tries to do so
- Make sure to pull over on a wide shoulder or designated pull-off spot to avoid being sideswiped by passing trucks that may swerve
- Use caution when near a truck that is turning
- Use signals clearly when changing lanes or turning
WHO MAY BE LIABLE IN A TRUCKING ACCIDENT?
By hiring a Texas truck accident lawyer, you may be able to successfully pursue any compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries or damages suffered as a result of the trucking accident.
As with most accidents, the driver responsible for the accident may be liable for a trucking accident. If the truck driver failed to take reasonable steps to avoid causing an accident, the driver may be liable for any injuries and damages you suffered. Truck drivers who were speeding, driving intoxicated or fatigued, or who ran a stop sign or red light, may be held liable for this negligent behavior.
However, many truck drivers may be unable to fully compensate you for your injuries. However, the trucking company which employs the driver or owns the truck may also be liable for your accident in many cases. The trucking company may be liable for the accident for a variety of reasons, such as:
Employers, including the trucking company employing the driver, may be held liable for any negligence by its employees while the employee was acting in the scope of employment. Under a theory of vicarious liability, the employer may be held liable simply by proving the employee was operating the truck to the benefit of the employer in the course of his or her employment.
If the driver’s employer failed to provide proper training for truck drivers, including training in truck accident prevention, properly securing trailers and cargo, and handling emergencies, the employer may be held liable for this negligent training.
Companies generally owe a duty to perform a thorough background check of any drivers before hiring them. This duty also includes an obligation to generally not hire any drivers that may have a lengthy history of traffic accidents, citations, or drunk driving arrests. Companies who hire a truck driver despite being aware of their history of dangerous or reckless driving behavior may be held liable. Trucking companies may also be liable if the company fails to properly discipline or terminate drivers who exhibit reckless behavior while working for the company.
Improper truck maintenance
The trucking company has a duty to make sure that every truck is properly maintained and kept in a good state of repair. Failing to conduct regular inspections of its trucks or failing to repair any unsafe conditions may result in the company being held liable for any accident caused by the truck’s poor maintenance, such as tire blowouts or malfunctioning brakes.
Trucking companies often incentivize or pressure drivers to drive recklessly to deliver cargo quicker. These policies may pressure a driver into failing to take mandatory rest stops, speeding to make the delivery in time, or otherwise engaging in negligent behavior that may result in an accident. If the company places unrealistic or over-demanding deadlines pressuring drivers to drive recklessly, you may be able to pursue compensation from the trucking company.
Violating applicable laws
Finally, a trucking company may be held liable for an accident if the company failed to comply with applicable regulations, such as enforcing regulations governing hours of service for drivers or failing to properly repair a truck that failed an inspection.
CONSULT THE TEXAS TRUCK ACCIDENT LAWYERS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our team of experienced truck accident attorneys may be able to help you seek any compensation you may be entitled to if you or a loved one was involved in a trucking accident. The skilled truck accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group have years of experience helping other truck accident victims pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after an accident. Our team is skilled at negotiating with insurance companies and handling accident claims while allowing victims to focus on recovering from their injuries.
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