Texas is constantly ranked as one of the leading states for fatal truck accidents. Unfortunately, this is not a trend that seems to be going away any time soon.
Just consider the truck accident statistics from 2020:
- 513 total commercial vehicle accidents that resulted in at least one death
- 581 total people died
- 1245 serious injuries occurred
- 7342 non-incapacitating injuries were recorded
With this information in mind, it is clear that truck accidents are a huge concern for Texas residents and those passing through the state.
One of the reasons trucking accidents have such a high fatality level is that trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times more than passenger vehicles.
If you are involved in an accident with a large truck or have a family member who is fatally injured due to this type of accident, you have the right to recover damages. At this point, it is smart to call our legal team at the Burkett Law Firm to learn about your rights and options.
Along with contacting us, it is also a good idea to learn some of the most common causes of trucking accidents. Knowing the cause of these accidents can help you remain aware while on the road and help prevent more fatalities from occurring.
1. Truck Driver Fatigue
Most commercial truck drivers are working under stressful and tight schedules. In some situations, they must pay significant fines and penalties if they cannot reach their destination by the scheduled time.
Unfortunately, extreme pressure, overburdened conditions, and unreasonable schedules cause many drivers to continue driving, even when they should take a break or get some sleep. This prevents them from getting good or adequate sleep, which results in fatigued driving.
There are three main ways fatigued driving can result in an accident:
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Reduced coordination
- Loss of concentration
Each of these factors can lead to devastating and fatal accidents.
2. Improper Maintenance Procedures
Another common cause of truck maintenance is the improper maintenance of braking systems, tires, engines, and other main components. Sometimes, malfunctions are caused by manufacturing or design errors; however, subpar maintenance is the cause in most situations.
Some examples of subpar maintenance include:
- Failing transmissions due to no maintenance
- Tire blow-outs because of heavy wear and tear
- Brakes that should have been changed many miles ago
If a trucking company does not adhere to set federal laws regarding fleet maintenance, it can be held liable if an accident occurs.
3. Aggressive Driving, Reckless Driving, and Speeding
Many truck accidents are caused by someone following too closely, as well as unsafe lane changes. It’s important to remember that large trucks don’t have the same maneuverability that passenger cars do. They cannot “stop on a dime” either.
Also, as truck drivers work to meet deadlines and delivery schedules, they may try to drive faster than what is considered safe or drive aggressively to “beat traffic.” All these actions can lead to accidents and fatalities.
4. Overloaded Cargo
Commercial truck drivers must ensure their loads do not exceed the allowed weight. Overloaded trucks are more difficult to drive and increase the likelihood of an accident.
The likelihood of accidents also goes up if the cargo isn’t properly balanced or has not been fastened to the truck properly or safely. If the cargo shifts too much, it can cause the truck to roll over.
5. Improper or Inadequate Driver Training
Most trucking companies pay new drivers to take safety and training courses. Once complete, they are put on the road.
Along with making less per mile than more experienced drivers, new drivers don’t have the experience needed to handle large trucks safely. This is especially true in excessive traffic or bad weather conditions.
Why Texas Truck Accident Cases Are So Complicated
Truck accidents are unique from traditional passenger vehicle accidents. The complexity of these accidents occurs because of a few factors:
- The weight of the big rig makes injuries more severe than a car-to-car accident.
- Injuries are more fatal and severe, which means receiving maximum compensation is difficult.
- Evidence needed to prove liability includes several factors.
It’s important to note that investigating a truck accident is a more extensive and detailed process than other types of motor vehicle accidents. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you hire an experienced Texas truck accident attorney for help with your situation.
Hire a Truck Accident Attorney for Help with Your Case
If you need help with a truck accident case, contact our attorneys at Burkett Law Firm at (361) 223-6870. Our team can evaluate your situation and help gather the needed evidence for your case. We are here to help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.