Large trucks are an essential part of Texas’ economy. Truck drivers traverse across the entire country, bringing goods from all over. While these vehicles and drivers might serve an important function, they also pose a serious threat. Large truck accidents are life altering and, in some cases, even life ending.
In accidents involving large trucks and smaller passenger vehicles, victims in the smaller vehicles are much more likely to suffer fatal injuries. Part of the problem is that tractor trailers simply weigh more than cars — a lot more. The average large truck weighs as much as 30 times more than passenger vehicles. Sadly, several issues could result in these massive vehicles causing a serious accident.
Poorly maintained equipment
Trucking companies are supposed to ensure that their vehicles are properly maintained and free of defects. Unfortunately, defective equipment is a common factor in large truck accidents. Brake defects factor into an astounding 42% of all investigated trucking accidents. A single defect can increase the risk of a crash by 200%.
The most common types of equipment violations involve braking and lighting systems. Defective or poorly maintained brakes are a serious concern since it already takes large trucks longer to stop because of their weight. It takes even longer for large trucks to stop when the roads are wet or slippery.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that truck drivers are twice as likely to crash once they have been on the road for longer than eight hours. Despite this, truck drivers can spend as long as 11 hours behind the wheel. Regulations do require that they take at least a 30 minute break after driving for eight hours.
Not all drivers follow the rules regarding hours of service. According to the IIHS, those who do violate hours of service rules are also more likely to say that they have fallen asleep at the wheel. Even those who adhere to the rules suffer from fatigue. Truck driving is a time intensive job that disrupts normal sleep cycles and often leads to sleep deprivation.
You deserve better
You should not have to share the road with fatigued drivers behind the wheel of poorly maintained trucks. Unfortunately, this is the reality that you and everyone else in Dallas County have to deal with. As you now know, the outcome of this reality can be terrifying.
Recovering from your physical injuries is just one part of the equation. After surviving a serious crash, you also need to worry about your finances and your emotional health. While this might feel overwhelming, you could rely on a knowledgeable attorney who has experience working with victims of large truck accidents.