Allen Commercial Drivers Truck Accident Lawyer
Commercial drivers are an important part of the economy in Allen, TX. These professionals operate delivery vans, moving trucks, and large transport vehicles like tractor-trailers. Without commercial drivers, most industries in Texas would struggle. Unfortunately, despite their important role in society, many commercial drivers cause accidents.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), over 4,100 people died in accidents involving commercial drivers of large trucks in 2018. In fact, it’s estimated that commercial drivers are involved in 11% of all fatal car accidents each year. Accidents with commercial drivers lead to significant property damage and injuries, too.
If you get hit by a commercial driver, don’t panic. Help is available. Our Allen, TX accident lawyers can assess your case and determine your eligibility for compensation. With a commercial driver accident settlement, you can pay medical bills, replace a damaged vehicle, or cover lost wages.
Don’t allow a commercial driver to impact your life. If you’re in an accident, you have legal rights. Use our online contact form or call (214) 305-8277 to schedule your free consultation appointment. Consultations are always confidential and there’s no obligation. Unless we help you win, you won’t pay a dime for our legal services.
The Dangers of Commercial Driver Accidents
Most commercial drivers require extra training and special licensing. They must also follow more safety rules than other drivers. However, crashes involving commercial drivers tend to be worse than other accidents. This is because commercial drivers often operate large vehicles like semi-trucks and tractor-trailers.
Commercial cargo trucks can be 20-30 times heavier than a car, weighing up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. An 18-wheeler can be 14 feet high, eight feet wide, and 70 feet long. Although commercial drivers are trained to operate these large vehicles, they can still cause accidents.
Driving with large trucks requires extra caution. Even a minor crash involving a large commercial vehicle can cause serious injuries to you or your passengers. The formula for impact force demonstrates how much damage a large truck can inflict. To calculate force, multiply the vehicle’s weight times its speed.
For example, a standard midsize car weighs around 3,300 pounds. Let’s say this car hits you at a speed of 35 mph. The impact force in this situation is 115,000 Newtons (units of force).
Now imagine the same accident involving a commercial driver operating a tractor-trailer. If an 80,000-pound vehicle causes a collision at 35 mph, the impact force is 2,800,000 Newtons. That’s a lot of damage! It’s easy to see why accidents involving commercial trucks are often deadly.
Why Do Commercial Driver Accidents Happen?
There are many reasons why commercial drivers cause truck accidents. Most accidents occur when the commercial driver loses control of their vehicle. Due to their size and weight, large trucks are harder to steer.
For example, when a normal driver encounters an object in the road, they can usually just drive around it. Commercial drivers don’t have the same maneuverability. They may crash into the object. In other scenarios, the commercial driver may try to swerve around it and lose control of their vehicle. Their truck may roll over, skid, or jackknife.
Commercial truck drivers also cause accidents due to the mechanics of their vehicle’s braking system. Most trucks use air brakes to ensure their trailer stops safely behind them. Unfortunately, air brake systems have a built-in lag. From the moment the commercial driver hits the brakes, it may take several seconds for their truck to come to a complete stop.
Due to the truck’s air brakes and its heavyweight, commercial drivers need more stopping distance than other cars. Depending on the speed and the conditions of the road surface, a commercial driver may require 300 feet or more to stop. As a result, there are many accidents they can’t avoid.
Other common causes of commercial driver accidents include:
Commercial drivers have a strenuous job. They often work long hours and drive at night. Although they are required to take breaks after driving for 14 hours, many commercial drivers still aren’t able to get enough rest. Some commercial drivers also push themselves past their limit to meet deadlines.
Unfortunately, fatigued driving is a very dangerous behavior that leads to many accidents. Studies indicate that driving without enough sleep is equivalent to driving with a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. In other words, a fatigued commercial driver can be just as dangerous as an intoxicated driver.
Driving Under the Influence
When a commercial driver uses drugs or alcohol, it impairs their ability to operate their vehicle safely. An intoxicated driver experiences a loss of motor control, slower reaction time, and inhibited judgment. These behaviors can lead to deadly crashes.
Similarly, distracted driving plays a role in many commercial driver accidents. There’s a reason it’s illegal to text and drive. Using a smartphone without a hands-free device or engaging in any other activity that takes a driver’s concentration away from the road can cause accidents.
Any situation that creates unsafe road conditions can lead to a large truck accident. Bad weather like heavy rain, snow, and fog can affect a commercial driver’s ability to see. Wet or icy roads also make it harder for commercial drivers to brake safely.
Commercial trucks require regular maintenance and repair. If a vehicle isn’t maintained, it may experience mechanical failure that can lead to an accident. Steering issues, engine problems, and brake failures can cause a commercial driver to have a collision. In these accident scenarios, the driver’s employer may share liability for the accident.
What to Do After an Accident Involving Commercial Drivers
If you get into an accident with a commercial driver, follow safe accident protocol. Pull over, call 911, and seek medical attention for anyone who is injured. Then, take photos and videos of the accident site. Gather the commercial driver’s insurance, contact, and employer information.
For more information about dealing with a commercial driver accident, call (214) 305-8277 for a free, confidential consultation with an Allen, TX accident attorney.