Posted in Truck Accidents on April 24, 2020
Truck accidents are common and often catastrophic events in Texas. Throughout the country, large trucks were in more than 4,600 fatal traffic accidents in 2017 alone. Understanding the main causes of truck accidents in Texas could help you recover compensation as a victim. Hire a lawyer to investigate your crash and determine causation.
Speeding, Reckless Driving and Aggressive Driving
Driver error is the main cause of truck accidents, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Driver error was the critical reason in 87% of truck accidents. Truck drivers are often guilty of mistakes that culminate in traffic accidents. These mistakes include anger, frustration or impatience manifesting as aggressive driving. A truck driver might be under pressure by an employer to meet a deadline, for example, and drive recklessly to make up for lost time. Speeding, tailgating, making unsafe lane changes, weaving between lanes, honking and other reckless behaviors behind the wheel can ultimately cause preventable collisions.
Truckers are more prone to drowsiness or fatigue behind the wheel due to workplace conditions. Driving alone for long hours, driving overnight, trying to sleep at unusual times or places, and health problems such as sleep apnea can all contribute to a truck driver’s drowsiness. Sleep apnea affects about 28% of truck drivers in the US. It is a sleep disorder that impacts breathing during sleep, leading to interruptions in the sleep cycle. Sleep apnea and other elements of the job can contribute to truck driver fatigue and related auto accidents.
Some truck drivers turn to drugs and/or alcohol to cope with the pressures of their jobs. A truck driver might start taking prescription or over-the-counter stimulants, for example, to stay awake during a long drive, or start drinking alcohol to cope with job-related anxiety or depression. Substance use, misuse and abuse can lead to DUI accidents. A truck driver may be unable to safely control a commercial vehicle while under the influence.
A distracted truck driver could cause a car accident by failing to pay proper attention to the road and the driving task. Distractions such as cellphones, GPSs, food, beverages, passengers, radios and billboards could take a trucker’s attention away from driving enough to lead to a crash such as a rear-end collision. Every truck driver has a responsibility to pay attention to the road.
Poor or Improper Maintenance
Poor truck maintenance can lead to accidents involving equipment breakdowns such as tire blowouts, bad brakes, broken lights, faulty steering components and lost cargo loads. It is the trucking company’s responsibility to ensure the reasonable safety of its trucks. Poor or improper fleet maintenance could point to the truck company’s liability for a related accident.
Bad weather such as rain, sleet, storms or fog can contribute to Texas trucking accidents. Weather conditions can limit visibility for a commercial driver and make the roads more dangerous. It already takes a large truck longer to stop than a passenger vehicle, for example. Wet or icy roads could limit a truck’s stopping power even more.
A dangerous or defective roadway could also contribute to a truck accident in Texas. Road defects such as dangerous construction zones, confusing detours, obstructed roadway signs, missing guardrails, potholes, loose gravel, uneven shoulders, downed power lines or debris in the road could cause a truck driver to lose control and crash. It is the city’s responsibility to maintain safe roadways.
How to Protect Your Rights After a Truck Accident
The best way to protect your rights as the victim of a truck accident in Texas is to hire a lawyer. A San Antonio truck accident lawyer can investigate your crash and search for signs of fault or negligence. Then, your lawyer can go head-to-head with the trucking company or another defendant in pursuit of fair compensation for your losses.
Contact the Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo today at (210) 404-7423 for a free consultation.