Texas is a leader in several industries, and with that role comes logistics. 18-wheelers carrying oil or agricultural products can be seen all over Texas highways. These massive vehicles can be dangerous, and for that reason, both the state and federal agencies have placed regulations on these trucks. Everything from who can drive, and for how long you can drive is regulated. However, these regulations are not always followed. It could be the driver’s negligence but, or more times than not, the trucking company that violates these regulations causes collisions with passenger vehicles. But exactly are the main causes of these crashes?
Negligence Causes Crashes
It’s clear that truck drivers are held to a higher standard when compared to other motorists. These professionals need to follow the rules and regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA.) Large trucks can cause a lot of damage if being driven recklessly. However, these regulations don’t do much to prevent crashes when they are not followed.
Speeding and Tailgating
Over 30% of fatal trucking crashes involve speeding according to the FMCSA. While it’s difficult for most truckers to speed when they have tools such as speed governors to prevent speeding, it doesn’t mean it never happens. Some truckers simply travel too fast on the road. While they might be going the legal speed limit, some drivers fail to account for road conditions. going 70mph on a wet road, or around turns can be dangerous in a passenger car, let alone an 18-wheeler.
Truckers have demanding schedules and sometimes their employer pressures them into speeding. Excessive speed can also lead to following other cars too closely. According to FMCSA, most semi-trucks need upwards of 400 feet to come to a complete stop when traveling at 55mph. The rule of thumb for truck drivers is to leave a five-second gap between their truck and the vehicle they are following.
Driving Under the Influence
Everyone can agree that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous. FMCSA regulations mandate trucking companies perform random drugs and alcohol tests on drivers. Consuming any controlled substance or alcohol can affect a driver’s ability to judge spaces, time, and lower their dexterity. These are all important skills to have when driving semi-trucks. Unfortunately, not all drivers pass these tests and are let loose on the road, only to cause major collisions with innocent motorists.
With the invention of smartphones, distracted driving has become far too common. This is even true for truck drivers. Regulations prohibit truck drivers from using their phones while driving and must use a hands-free feature to answer calls. While things like cell phone use while driving is a common cause of distracted driving, it isn’t the only one. Eating, drinking, or even adjusting the radio can distract drivers. Taking your eyes off the road is dangerous, and should never be done, especially while operating a semi-truck.
Hit by an 18-Wheeler?
At Villarreal and Begum, we know dealing with the aftermath of an 18-wheeler accident can be stressful. That’s why were here to help you figure out what to do next. You need an experienced attorney to fight the liable party. Villarreal and Begum know exactly how to find who’s liable, and how to get you the money you deserve. If you have been in this situation, contact us today. Your consultation is always free. Call us or send us a message online. With offices in San Antonio and Austin, the Texas Law Guns will fight for you.