The Main Reasons for 18-Wheeler Accidents in Texas
It's important for everyone to realize that large trucks, such as 18-wheelers, represent a significant hazard to other vehicles on the road, as well as the passengers in those vehicles. There is a reason why drivers with commercial licenses operate under a much stricter set of rules than other drivers; they need to be aware that their huge vehicles are more dangerous, and they should be using extra caution as they do their job.
Of course, drivers of smaller vehicles should also be extra cautious when sharing the road with an 18-wheeler. Otherwise minor driving mistakes, such as failing to signal before changing lanes or passing, that are otherwise a minor annoyance, can become catastrophic when a large truck is involved. While the drivers of large trucks are usually very patient and highly skilled, there are always exceptions to that, and it can lead to disaster, primarily because of their size and weight.
Among the more common reasons why some drivers drive more recklessly than usual include the following:
· A driver has been given a deadline that is unrealistic for a particular load, given the distance, traffic conditions and other factors, such as weather.
· A trucking company compensates their drivers in a way that encourages drivers to cut corners and perhaps drive for a longer time than is recommended, or even allowed by federal regulations.
· Drivers are rushed through training, or not given sufficient training with regard to proper compliance with federal regulations or defensive driving techniques.
There are actually many reasons why truck accidents occur in Texas; the above are only a few, although reckless driving caused by any or all of them is cited as the number one reason for accidents involving large trucks around the country, as well as in the state of Texas.
Another very common reason why trucks are involved in so many accidents has to do with distracted driving. While it's always been a problem, with drivers often engaging in eating and drinking, grooming themselves and talking to others on CB radios, the problem has become worse in recent years, with the advent of handheld electronic gadgets, especially GPS devices and cell phones, which they sometimes use to talk, other times to text. Keep in mind, they are doing this stuff while guiding a trailer that may be carrying a load of as much as 35-40 tons down a public highway at 70-80 miles per hour.
Another very significant problem that leads to many truck accidents has to do with driver fatigue, which is usually caused by many long hours on the road driving alone. The federal government has tried to curb the problem by establishing ever-more stringent “hours of service” (HOS) rules, which are intended to regulate the number of hours a truck driver may drive on the road without a break, but it's not uncommon for drivers to simply ignore those rules, often with a wink and a nod from their trucking company.
Even though truck drivers are required to undergo and pass regular physicals and are also subject to random drug screens, the problem of impaired driving is still am major problem on Texas roadways. The problem isn't just alcohol; the use of drugs, both illegal and prescribed, is becoming a significant problem among truck drivers, as they become ever more desperate to find any way they can to stay awake and get their load to its destination.
Contact Texas Trucking Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and have been injured or killed as a result, the experienced Truck Accident Lawyers at Blizzard Law PLLC are here to help. Give us a call to set up a confidential initial consultation, so we can help.