What You Should Know About Truck Accidents

June 17, 2020

Truck Accident Lawyers - Shamieh Law

Accidents involving large trucks are more common in Texas than many people realize. As more people move to the Lone Star State and the trucking industry continues to rise in the U.S., we expect to see these numbers increase. In the U.S., commercial trucks are responsible for transporting 70 percent of products. Unfortunately, the trucking industry has a reputation of violating safety standards and putting drivers and other motorists at extreme risk. Because of this, the industry is no stranger to safety violations and accidents. With nearly 16 million large trucks on our nation’s highways, interstates, and city streets, it is important to drive with extra care and caution. But even the most diligent of drivers may find themselves in the middle of an accident with a commercial truck.

If you were injured in an accident because of another driver’s negligence or inappropriate action, please contact Shamieh Law. Our Dallas truck accident lawyers understand how devastating these types of accidents can be and will do everything we can to fight for your rights. Often, truck accident victims shy away from pursuing legal action because of the deep pockets and unfair practices of trucking companies. Our lawyers understand this and have the tools and resources to help you recover compensation for the damages you incurred. To learn more about how our Dallas truck accident lawyers can help, schedule a free consultation today.

What Are the Different Types of Large Trucks?

There are many different types of commercial vehicles, not just 18-wheelers like many people think. Every class requires a commercial driver’s license and extensive, detailed training. Unfortunately, even though there are regulations in place, many truck drivers are undertrained and overworked. Before we look at the common causes of commercial truck accidents, let’s go over the different types:

  • 18-wheeler
  • Tractor-trailer
  • Dump truck
  • Cement mixer
  • Flatbed
  • Refrigerator truck
  • Tanker
  • Extra duty truck
  • Panel truck
  • Garbage truck
  • Heavy hauler

Why Are Large Truck Accidents So Dangerous?

One of the main reasons large trucks are so dangerous is their size. They can weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles, which means upwards of 80,000 pounds in some cases. The longest tractor-trailers can stretch 70 to 80 feet, while cars are typically around 15 feet. These stark differences alone show just how dangerous commercial trucks are to other vehicles, motorcycles, and cyclists. It is no wonder these kinds of accidents are often fatal, usually for those riding in passenger vehicles. Let’s go over a few statistics related to large truck accidents in the United States:

  • In 2017 (the most recent year there is data), 4,761 people died in accidents involving large trucks
    • 72 percent were drivers or occupants in other vehicles
    • 18 percent were occupants of commercial trucks
    • 10 percent were pedestrians, cyclists, or other individuals not in vehicles
  • Also, in 2017, large trucks were responsible for 9 percent of all car accidents
  • 74 percent of all fatal accidents involve a large truck
  • Tire defects account for 30 percent of all large truck accidents
  • The majority of truck accidents take place during the day between noon and 3 pm
  • In the last several years, the number of 18-wheeler accidents has steadily increased
  • There 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States alone
  • In 2017, 4,889 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents
  • 30 percent of fatal work zone accidents and 12 percent of work zone injuries involve at least one large commercial truck

Common Causes of Large Truck Accidents

It is important to remember that both truck drivers and other motorists can be responsible for commercial truck accidents. Many factors may contribute to these types of serious accidents in Texas, from driver fatigue to no zones and speed. And although there are numerous laws and regulations in place designed to ensure commercial truck drivers do not drive for more hours than they safely should, these rules are often ignored. Because these commercial vehicles are so much larger than other vehicles, accidents involving trucks often lead to serious property damage and catastrophic injuries. With that in mind, here’s a look at the most common causes of large truck accidents:

  • Mechanical failure
  • Distracted driving
  • Inadequate training
  • Inexperience
  • Driver fatigue
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Speeding
  • Improper cargo loading

What are Some of the Common Injuries from Large Truck Accidents?

  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Burns
  • Amputation or loss of limb
  • Whiplash
  • Internal injuries
  • Cuts, bruises, or lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Wrongful death

Why Are Large Truck Accidents So Complex?

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to pursuing legal action following a truck accident. These types of cases are often complex and difficult to litigate because of the following reasons:

  • Negligence is hard to prove in some cases, especially if there’s a chance the trucking company and truck part manufacturer may be to blame, not just the truck driver
  • Injuries and other damages are often catastrophic and even fatal, so rehabilitation and medical care is often much more extensive and costly
  • Trucking insurance adjusters can be challenging to deal with and are known for making settlement offers that will not cover all of your losses

How to Avoid Large Truck Accidents

Sharing the road with commercial vehicles can be challenging and requires extra care and attention. Here are some tips for avoiding large truck accidents:

  • Be mindful of the truck’s no zone or blind spots
  • Never tailgate
  • Use caution when passing and make sure the truck driver can see you
  • Give clear signals
  • Give the truck plenty of space
  • Merge with care
  • Avoid distractions, such as your cell phone
  • Truck drivers: Take breaks and never drive when tired

If you are injured in an accident with a commercial truck in Dallas, please contact Shamieh Law and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today.