Recent big rig truck accidents in Texas demonstrate the dangers these trucks and negligent driver pose to Texas drivers. Last week, on Highway 75, a portion of the northbound lanes narrowed into a single lane. The cars slowed down, but a tractor trailer did not and ended up slamming into one car and then side-swiping another. Due the size and speed of the truck, even after these collisions, it did not slow down. It crossed the median into oncoming traffic before finally coming to a stop in the grass of a travel plaza. Police officers cited the truck driver for failure to control speed.
A week earlier, a truck driver hauling gasoline failed to control his vehicle while making a turn. The 18-wheeler was hauling 7,200 gallons of gasoline. When the driver attempted to turn, the weight of the gasoline shifting was too much for him to handle, and the big rig fell onto its side, spilling about 1,500 gallons into the street. The accident shut down one of Houston’s busiest highways for about nine hours. Lufkin injury lawyers are available to assist you if you or a loved one has been hurt in a big rig trucking accident.
Truck Driver Negligence
The nature of big truck trucks themselves (their weight, maneuverability, load, etc.) contribute a lot to trucking accidents, but truck drivers also face a lot of stressors on their jobs that can contribute. Some of the factors relating to big rig trucks and truck drivers that contribute to truck accidents include:
- Pressure from truck drivers’ employers to make more and more deliveries and to make them on time. There are laws that regulate the time that drivers can spend on the road, the breaks they must take, and the weight load they can carry.
- Failure to perform a pre-trip inspection. Drivers are typically required to make sure that all of their brakes and settings are in order.
- Failure to secure the truck’s load. The example given above with the gasoline truck indicates that the truck’s load and how it shifts play huge roles in how the truck handles on the road. Transporting large amounts of gasoline, for instance, requires extra precautions on the part of the driver.
- Driver fatigue. Federal law permits drivers to drive up to sixteen hours a day, but many ignore this rule. Driving while fatigued is as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol. Both lead to decreased reaction times and visual hallucinations.