Because Texas drivers share the roads and highways with working commercial truck drivers, they need to prepare themselves for hazardous situations as well as the worst-case scenario, handling life after a truck crash.
In early March, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its annual overview of motor vehicle crashes. Using data from 2020 (the most recent year available), NHTSA reported 4,134 fatal truck crashes across the country. Along with that, in a report by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), findings from the same year showed Texas leading the nation in large truck crashes with 580 fatalities.
An average semi-truck weighs anywhere between 12,000 to 80,000 pounds and is as much as 20 to 30 times heavier than a passenger vehicle. If someone is involved in a Texas car crash with a large truck, the odds are they would sustain not only an injury but one that could be catastrophic and even fatal.
What Is Causing Texas Truck Fatalities?
Texas has a complex road system made up of 16 interstate highways and 45 U.S. highways. While Texas is celebrated as an economic hub for several industries, including the oil and agricultural industries, there is the potential for danger involving the countless truck drivers navigating these busy roads daily.
Many factors can lead to a commercial truck crash. They range from faulty equipment, driver fatigue, excessive speed, and distracted driving to truck drivers’ illegal use of drugs and alcohol. Of course, drivers of other vehicles can also be at fault in a crash with a truck. Passenger vehicles should always be following the state’s traffic and safety rules while maintaining a safe distance from all large trucks.
Overworked Truck Drivers
Since the pandemic began, the amount of shipping orders for large trucks has increased to the point that it has overwhelmed the trucking industry, which was already responsible for 70 percent of the nation’s cargo. Soon after the COVID-19 crisis began, the federal government relaxed some of the trucking industry rules and the hours truck drivers could stay on the road to ensure necessary medical supplies were distributed to all parts of the country. Now, as the number of COVID-19 cases decreases, businesses are restocking inventories that were depleted early in the pandemic.
All of this can influence the safety surrounding working truck drivers. They may feel tired from added jobs and pressure to meet more deadlines with the increased workloads.
Truck Crashes Have Devastating Consequences
While agencies like the NHTSA and the TxDOT regularly push out information, updating the public on driving hazards and information on highway safety, unfortunately, sometimes the gravity of the situation does not hit home until someone you love is involved in a truck crash.
Texan Harold Bonin became one of those people in June 2017 when his teenage son, William, sustained devastating injuries when an 18-wheeler ran a red light and slammed into the boy while on his motorcycle.
William was getting ready to head off to college before the accident occurred. He doesn’t remember the accident which robbed him of that future. His medical bills, including a daily caretaker, continue to cripple the family.
The truck driver had 17 previous violations on his record but was still on the road. The Bonins were awarded a multimillion-dollar settlement in their lawsuit against the company, but their lives will never be the same.
Why An Experienced Texas Truck Accident Attorney Is Necessary
A large truck crash can have catastrophic consequences with long-lasting and expensive repercussions. Although in Texas, people have two years to file a lawsuit concerning a crash, a thorough investigation to gather evidence against the guilty party takes time. Therefore, the sooner an attorney is called, the better.
For example, commercial trucks often have “black box” technology that records the truck’s information. This can be useful in the investigation to gather evidence since it could include data linked to the truck’s speed and braking at the time of the crash, and more about the surrounding location.
A knowledgeable Texas truck accident attorney should be contacted immediately for the injured party to receive the correct compensation to offset the costs associated with the crash, including property damage to the vehicle, doctor bills, long-term medical care and lost wages.
The experienced truck accident attorneys at the Cochran Firm Texas have the compassion, confidence and knowledge to pursue your truck accident claim and make sure you get the compensation you deserve. If you would like to learn more or get a free case review, contact us at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476), via online chat, or our contact form to get started.
At Cochran Texas, we understand that needing legal help can be scary. It doesn’t have to be. We are a trusted leader in the legal profession and in our community. We know you are more than a case number. We get to know you as a person. This allows us to offer a balanced and thoughtful approach to giving you the best possible legal representation. Our mission is to protect the legal rights of ALL people in our community. No matter your race, gender, background or income level you have a right to skilled legal help. Call us at 800-843-3476.