Commercial trucks are part of the backbone of the American economy and allow goods to travel quickly across Texas and from state to state to consumers. Even though these trucks are essential to keeping the economy going, they also account for over 10 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes, killing an average of over 5,000 people per year. Those killed in commercial truck accidents are most often the occupants of passenger vehicles involved in the crash. People traveling in cars do not know how vulnerable they are to severe injuries and even death if involved in a commercial truck collision. Commercial trucks often weigh 20 to 30 times more than a passenger car or smaller truck, have greater ground clearance, and have reduced braking capability that makes it much harder for a truck driver to stop suddenly and avoid a crash. With commercial truck drivers on a set schedule that can cause serious driving fatigue, serious accidents can occur that can be fatal to a passenger vehicle occupant.
Common types of commercial truck accidents that cause serious injuries and fatalities include:
Head-on collisions occur when a commercial truck collides with another vehicle from the front. This type of accident is incredibly dangerous and can be fatal. These crashes often occur when a commercial truck driver becomes fatigued and lets their truck swerve into oncoming traffic. This makes a collision almost unavoidable. Vehicles driving with the flow of traffic may see a truck driver veer into their lane and will have little to no time to react. These types of roadway accidents are often the most severe but do not occur as frequently as other types of truck crashes.
Rear-end collisions occur when a truck driver or passenger vehicle driver does not stop in time and hits the truck or vehicle in front of them. They hit the rear of the other vehicle making it a “rear-end” collision. These accidents happen when the driver of a vehicle cannot stop in time to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of them. This may be the result of driving while distracted, driving at high speeds, or tailgating. When a truck driver rear-ends a passenger vehicle, the resulting damage is generally catastrophic and causes severe injuries and loss of life.
On every highway you can see the remnants of commercial truck tires. Shreds of black rubber can be found on the side of the road and in the middle of a lane. Tires can blow out on any vehicle, but commercial trucks are more vulnerable to tire breakdown. When a tire blowout occurs, a truck driver may be able to navigate the road or they may lose control of their big rig and hit another vehicle or vehicles on the road.
A jackknife collision occurs when a truck brakes quickly and the attached trailer swings out at a 90-degree angle. When a commercial truck jackknifes, it can easily and quickly roll over or overturn. These accidents often cause a serious highway pileup with multiple drivers slamming on their brakes and rear-ending each other. This type of truck accident begets many additional roadway accidents that can cause multiple serious injuries and fatalities.
A rollover crash occurs when a commercial truck driver loses control of their vehicle and their trailer and/or cab roll over on their side. This creates a hazardous situation for the truck driver as well as all other drivers on the road. The trailer of the truck can roll over onto a passenger vehicle, crushing the occupants inside. The truck driver may lose control by braking too suddenly, driving at high speed, having an improperly loaded trailer, cutting corners, or turning on sharp curves.
Blind Spot Collisions
All drivers have seen the signs on the back of a commercial truck, “if you can’t see my mirrors, I can’t see you.” This is especially true for commercial trucks because there have many blind spots where a driver completely loses sight of surrounding vehicles. These blind spots are much larger than those in passenger vehicles and commercial truck drivers must be especially aware of the vehicles around their trucks. When driving near a commercial truck, take care to avoid driving in their blind spots, especially when traveling at high speeds.
If a commercial truck has been loaded improperly or the load is not secured, it can fall off the truck and cause a serious accident. No only will the commercial truck be forced to stop suddenly as its load is lost, vehicles behind them and around them must brake suddenly and swerve to avoid hitting the truck and the load’s debris on the road. Unexpected stops can ultimately lead to terrible truck accidents.
Houston Truck Accident Lawyers
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our experienced commercial truck accident lawyers have tackled a wide range of trucking accident cases throughout Texas. We understand state law, federal trucking regulations, and the investigative techniques necessary to successfully represent victims injured in commercial truck accidents. Find out more about what our team of trial lawyers can do for you by calling 281-326-9202 or contact us online.