The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines large trucks as any medium or heavy truck, excluding buses and motorhomes, with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. In 2014, 85 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes were much heavier though, greater than 26,000 pounds and up to 80,000 pounds. Because these vehicles are so much larger and heavier than more traditional passenger occupant vehicles, commercial truck drivers and trucking companies have additional rules and regulations to follow to keep U.S. roadways safe.
Truck Accident Cases in Conroe and Montgomery County
Since truck accident cases in Conroe and all over the nation often involve multiple local, state and federal investigative agencies, these cases are much more complicated than accident cases involving only light cars and trucks. After an accident involving a semi truck, 18-wheeler, big rig or other type of commercial trucking vehicle, it’s essential to get in touch with a personal injury attorney with proven truck accident case experience as soon as possible after your injury.
Trucking Crashes by the Numbers
• There were 3,903 people killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2014.
• In 2014, an estimated 111,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks.
• In 2014, 73 percent of people killed in large-truck crashes were occupants of other vehicles.
• 79 percent of the fatal crashes involving large trucks happened on weekdays in 2014.
• Two percent of the large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 had blood alcohol concentration (BACs) of .08 g/dL or higher.
• Large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 had the highest percentage (14.9 percent) of previously recorded crashes compared to drivers of other types of vehicles.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the organization tasked with regulating the commercial trucking industry. Tractor-trailer drivers and commercial trucking companies have to comply with regulations involving loading, hours of service, maintenance, tire safety, brakes, driver training and a wide variety of other safety issues to ensure everybody on roadways in Texas and across the nation are safe. Large semi trucks, weighing up to 80,000 pounds, can’t stop on a dime, so drivers and trucking companies have to make sure all brake, tire and mechanical maintenance is in top working order, at all times. If drivers or trucking companies are negligent about truck maintenance or fail to comply with all federal safety regulations, they’re putting lives at risk. Listed below are some common causes for truck accidents.
Common Truck Accident Causes
• Distracted driving
• Driver fatigue
• Improperly loaded truck
• Poorly maintained truck
• Impaired or intoxicated driving
• Excessive speed
• Lack of driving training
• Defective equipment
• Overloaded truck
• Failing to obey traffic laws
• Violating hours-of-service laws
• Drivers failing to check blind spots
• Failure to yield the right of way
Truck Driver Fatigue
Sleep deprivation and fatigue can have similar effects on the body as alcohol intoxication. Drowsy drivers are dangerous drivers. We’ve all heard frightening stories of truckers driving all day and night. Although there are hours-of-service regulations about how long a driver can stay on the road, or how much rest time they have between shifts, this doesn’t prevent all cases of drowsy truck driving. Paper logbooks, industry-wide standards and other issues can sometimes keep these important laws from being strictly adhered to and lawfully abided. Many advocates are calling on stricter hours-of-service regulations and computerized logs to increase accountability and ensure truck drivers are awake and alert behind the wheel. Truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel isn’t the only concern either. Even if drivers do manage to stay away behind the wheel, their reaction times and decision-making capabilities can be greatly impacted by sleep deprivation and fatigue.
Injuries Associated with Trucking Accidents
Truck accidents are often devastating for smaller cars, SUVs and light trucks. If your small car goes up against a nearly 80,000 pound big rig, you can imagine what the outcome is going to be like. Under run accidents can be catastrophic and deadly for drivers and passengers in smaller vehicles. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), burns, limb loss, fractures, internal organ damage and other catastrophic, devastating and potentially fatal injuries can occur in truck accidents. Medical bills associated with 18-wheeler accidents can be astronomical, all while you’re out of work and trying to make ends meet.
Conroe Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accident cases are complicated and can involve multiple local, state and federal investigative agencies. A lawyer can be your advocate and help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in a trucking accident, contact the Scott Law Firm at (936) 270-8100 for an immediate free case consultation.