Carrollton 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer
Eighteen-wheelers are a common sight on Texas highways. Also known as semis or tractor trailers, these large vehicles transport a variety of goods. Eighteen-wheelers also support the economy by providing jobs.
Unfortunately, collisions involving 18-wheelers can be dangerous — even deadly. As more 18-wheelers hit the road to help meet consumer demand, accidents are on the rise. You or someone you love may be seriously injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler.
If you were in a car crash caused by an 18-wheeler near Carrollton, TX, get help now. With the right legal assistance, you may be eligible for compensation. Accident settlements can help you pay medical bills, replace a damaged car, and cover lost wages. Don’t wait to pursue your legal rights.
Dial (214) 305-8277 to speak to a Carrollton accident lawyer. Our legal team has been serving drivers just like you all across the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Consultations are 100% free, and there’s no obligation. If we don’t help you win your case, we won’t charge you a dime.
Why Are 18-Wheeler Accidents So Dangerous?
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), over 4000 people died in large truck crashes in 2018. The majority of people killed were drivers or passengers in other cars — 67% of large truck fatalities claimed the lives of non-commercial drivers.
What makes these accidents so deadly? Size is the primary factor. With a maximum weight of 80,000 pounds, an 18-wheeler weighs 20-30 times more than a normal car. They may also be transporting dangerous oversized cargo loads.
In an impact, force is determined by calculating speed and weight. This means that a large vehicle like an 18-wheeler will cause exponentially higher levels of damage than a small car traveling the same speed.
Due to their size, 18-wheelers also require more stopping distance. When a commercial driver notices a hazard on the road, they won’t be able to stop right away. Compared to the stopping distance of a normal car, truck drivers need 20-40% more distance. In other words, slamming on the brakes isn’t enough to prevent an accident.
Speaking of brakes, 18-wheelers are also very sensitive to road conditions. If a road is icy, flooded, or covered in gravel, the driver may have trouble braking. 18-wheelers are known to spin out, “jackknife,” and roll over.
As a result, 18-wheeler accidents are far more dangerous than crashes involving normal cars.
Common Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
There are several factors that contribute to 18-wheeler accidents. Many of these factors are common causes in all car crashes.
However, 18-wheeler collisions are always more severe due to size and impact force. Some safety experts argue that there’s no such thing as a “minor crash” when there’s an 18-wheeler involved.
Common causes of 18-wheeler collisions include but are not limited to:
Did you know that driving without enough sleep is just as dangerous as driving drunk?
Drowsy driving causes many large truck crashes. Fatigued truck drivers have slower reaction times, impaired vision, and poor judgment. Their depth perception and ability to judge distance can also be impacted.
In the worst cases, fatigued truck drivers may fall asleep at the wheel. Even if they only “nod off” for a few seconds, this can be disastrous. An 18-wheeler traveling at high speeds can be deadly if the driver loses control.
Unfortunately, professional truck drivers may lose sleep due to their job. They sometimes work long shifts and skip sleep to meet delivery deadlines. As a result, drowsy driving is a common cause of 18-wheeler accidents.
Eighteen-wheelers require a lot of maintenance. Hauling heavy loads for long distances causes lots of wear and tear on a truck. As a result, 18-wheelers must be inspected and repaired frequently. If the equipment fails, it presents a huge safety risk.
Most 18-wheelers are owned by transport or shipping companies. The company is responsible for maintaining the truck, trailer, and all equipment. When mechanical problems cause a crash, the owner may be liable.
That’s why it’s important to get the trucker driver’s employer information if you’re involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler. You will need this information to help your lawyer determine fault.
Eighteen-wheelers also cause accidents due to fallen cargo. If the truck’s load is not properly secured, it may spill onto the street. The cargo may damage other vehicles as it falls, creating a hazard for other drivers on the road.
When there are objects in the road, drivers must brake or swerve to avoid hitting them. Other drivers may not have time to react. Fallen cargo often results in accidents involving multiple vehicles and severe injuries.
Due to their size, 18-wheelers have limited visibility. Drivers are unable to see the sides and rear of their vehicle. Even with mirrors and cameras, these blind spots are much larger than in a normal car.
This limited visibility results in collisions when other drivers pass improperly. If you’re driving around an 18-wheeler, never pass on the right. Maintain safe following distance and always pass quickly. If you stay in a blind spot for too long, you may be hit when the driver changes lanes.
If you’re unsure, remember the old adage about blind spots. If you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you. Don’t risk an accident by assuming the 18-wheeler’s driver knows you are there.
Driving Under the Influence
Finally, 18-wheeler accidents happen when the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These substances are very dangerous. They prevent drivers from controlling their vehicles safely. Drugs and alcohol also affect judgment. Impaired drivers may perform risky driving maneuvers that endanger others.
If you see an 18-wheeler weaving across multiple lanes or otherwise driving poorly, call 911. By reporting a potential drunk driver, you may save many lives. DUI accidents involving 18-wheelers can be fatal.
Get Legal Help with an 18-Wheeler Accident
Carrollton drivers who have been in an 18-wheeler accident deserve compensation. Get legal help today. Call (214) 305-8277 or use our contact form to request a free consultation.