Grapevine Commercial Drivers Accident Lawyer
Commercial drivers provide an important service to the community of Grapevine, TX. By operating large trucks and other transport vehicles, commercial drivers haul important materials and consumer goods all around the state. Unfortunately, commercial drivers are also responsible for thousands of accidents each year. Many of these collisions prove fatal.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), large trucks are more likely to kill passengers in smaller vehicles while commercial drivers remain relatively unharmed. In 2018, large truck accidents claimed the lives of 4,136 people. 74% of these fatal crashes involved commercial drivers operating tractor-trailers, while another 27% involved single-unit commercial trucks.
Even a small truck can inflict serious damage when a commercial driver causes an accident. Victims who survive the collision often suffer lifelong, debilitating injuries. In some cases, commercial driver accident victims are unable to work or lead a normal life due to medical problems from the collision.
A commercial driver accident settlement can help you get back on your feet. With compensation from the commercial driver or their employer, you can pay medical bills, replace a damaged vehicle, and cover lost wages. Compensation for damages can make life easier while you recover.
Don’t let an accident involving a commercial driver prevent you from living your life. Explore your legal options today with a Grapevine, TX accident attorney. Call (214) 305-8277 or use our online contact form to schedule a 100% free consultation.
Causes of Commercial Driver Accidents
In Texas, commercial drivers require special training and licensing to operate large trucks like 18-wheelers. Commercial drivers are also legally required to follow extra safety protocols. For example, the speed limit for large trucks is often much lower than the speed limit for other vehicles.
But commercial drivers are still human. They can cause accidents like anyone else. In some cases, commercial drivers cause accidents by making mistakes or behaving recklessly. Other accidents happen because of factors beyond the driver’s control, such as bad weather or other drivers.
Understanding why commercial driver accidents happen can help you determine liability and plan your legal strategy after a truck crash. Here are some of the common reasons why commercial drivers cause accidents:
Large Truck Size and Weight
Let’s say you’re driving your car and you encounter a large object in the road. Depending on traffic conditions, you can probably stop or maneuver around the object without losing control of your vehicle.
For commercial drivers, this is significantly harder. Many times, commercial drivers cause accidents because their truck’s large size and weight cause them to lose control behind the wheel. With a full cargo, a commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. On average, commercial trucks are also 8.5 feet wide, 13 feet tall, and 48-72 feet long.
Due to these dimensions, large trucks have tremendous momentum at high speeds. A commercial driver can’t change lanes quickly or swerve to avoid hazards the way other drivers can. Large trucks also require a distance of two football fields or more to come to a complete stop.
If a commercial driver loses control of their vehicle, they may also cause an accident when they attempt to correct their course. The truck’s weight can be thrown off balance easily. Then, the truck may skid into other cars, jackknife, or even roll over. The results of these collisions can be deadly.
Driver Fatigue and Impairment
Commercial driving can be a high-stress job. Commercial drivers work long hours, often driving overnight as they transport cargo thousands of miles across the country. They may also have tight deadlines and quotas to meet.
Although commercial drivers are required to take regularly scheduled breaks, many still experience exhaustion. Did you know that a fatigued driver is just as impaired as a driver using drugs or alcohol? Fatigue can cause commercial driver accidents because the driver suffers vision problems, slower reaction times, and reduced physical coordination.
Commercial drivers may also become impaired and cause accidents by using substances. Even legal prescription drugs can impair a commercial driver’s ability to operate a large truck safely. Drivers can also be impaired if they become distracted using a phone or other electronic devices while driving.
Commercial trucking causes a lot of wear and tear on vehicles. As a result, commercial transport companies are required to have their trucks maintained and inspected regularly. If a company doesn’t, it can result in a mechanical failure that causes accidents.
Commercial drivers may cause a collision if they experience problems with their trucks’ brakes, steering, engine, or other mechanical components. If the commercial driver doesn’t own their vehicle, they may not be responsible for maintenance. In these scenarios, their employer may be the ones held liable for accident damages.
Due to their size, commercial trucks like tractor-trailers have large blind spots. Often, commercial drivers cause accidents because they don’t see another vehicle. If you’re passing a large truck, always pass on the left and don’t linger in the driver’s blind spots. Remember, if you can’t see the commercial driver, they can’t see you.
Finally, many commercial driver accidents involve bad weather. Fog, snow, and rain can obstruct a driver’s view. Bad weather conditions also make roads more slippery. These factors can cause a commercial driver to lose control of their truck. They may skid, roll over, and collide with another vehicle.
What to Do After a Commercial Driver Accident
If you’re involved in a car or truck accident with a commercial driver, prioritize safety first. Seek medical help for anyone injured in the collision. If you can, move your vehicle to the side of the road or into a parking lot so you’re not blocking traffic.
Then, exchange insurance and contact information with the commercial driver. Be sure to get their employer’s information as well. Take photos and videos of the accident scene if it’s safe to do so. If there are witnesses to the accident, you can also ask for their contact information.
Once you’re safe, contact your insurance provider and get in touch with a commercial driver accident lawyer. Our legal team in Grapevine, TX is standing by. Contact us today by calling (214) 305-8277 for your free consultation.