18-wheelers are easily the largest of vehicles commonly traveling on roads, highways, and interstates. Big rigs average around 70 feet in length and 80,000 pounds in weight. Because of their enormous size, drivers of personal vehicles are likely to keep clear when a semi is near. Despite a conscious effort by most drivers to avoid driving along with an 18-wheeler for an extended period of time, accidents with big rigs still happen. Below are five common causes of 18-wheeler accidents in Texas. If you or a loved one has been injured in a big rig accident, please call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney to get the compensation you deserve.
WHAT ARE THE 5 MOST COMMON CAUSES OF 18 WHEELER ACCIDENTS IN TEXAS?
- Overscheduled Drivers - Truck drivers are often made to meet unrealistic schedules and expectations. Their schedules can have them driving many consecutive hours, pushing their rigs and bodies further than they are meant to in a given time. This can result in driver fatigue, poor decision making, and worn-out tires.
- Distracted Drivers - There’s a lot competing for the attention of truck drivers. Cell phones, radios, and other drivers can all contribute to a truck driver taking his eyes off the road for a second. Just like smaller vehicles, that’s all it takes for an accident to happen on the road.
- Minor Traffic Violations - Traffic laws are in effect for very specific reasons. When a normal vehicle forgoes protocol and commits a minor traffic violation like running a yield sign, tailgating, etc., the physical aspects of their smaller vehicle can, at times, allow the driver to escape without harm. Drivers should obey all traffic laws at all times, especially when behind the wheel of a big rig. The sheer size of 18-wheelers prevents any traffic violation from being “minor”. They can’t brake as quickly or turn as sharply to avoid the consequences of a risky decision.
- Jack-knifing - Jack-knifing is the unique reaction of a trailer to the truck cab when the trailer of the big rig skids forward, causing the whole rig to bend like a folding switchblade knife. 18-wheeler jack-knifing is caused by forceful braking, faulty equipment, or poor conditions on the road.
- Driving Under the Influence - It goes without saying that regardless of your deadlines, one should never drive a vehicle while under the influence of any substance, legal or illegal. As mentioned in the first entry, big rig drivers are often on unrealistic schedules. This prods some truck drivers to use substances to stay awake and follow their required schedule. It also exponentially increases the risk and rate of causing or being in an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an 18-wheeler accident, please call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney to get the compensation you deserve. Call us at (210) 934-6609 for a free consultation.
Learn more about serious truck accidents and why you should hire an attorney immediately if injured.