Irving Commercial Drivers Accident Lawyer
As cities like Irving expand, there’s an increased need for commercial drivers. These drivers transport important consumer goods and raw materials. They keep the Texas economy growing. Unfortunately, many commercial drivers also cause car accidents.
Often, commercial drivers are responsible for expensive property damage and serious injuries. Accidents involving commercial drivers may even be deadly because the large vehicles they drive cause significant damage to smaller cars.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,889 trucks and buses were involved in deadly accidents in 2017. Another 107,000 large trucks were involved in injury-only accidents.
Have you been in an accident involving a commercial driver? If so, help is available for you. Call (214) 305-8277 for a free consultation with an Irving accident lawyer. Our legal team is standing by to assist you.
Why Do Commercial Drivers Cause Accidents?
There are several reasons why commercial drivers cause accidents. Often, these accidents happen because of the size of their vehicles.
In Texas, large commercial trucks weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Compared to a small car, it’s much easier to lose control of these vehicles. Commercial drivers also need a greater stopping distance. They may cause accidents if there’s an unexpected object in the road.
Here are some specific factors involved in commercial driver accidents:
Bad weather can be deadly for commercial drivers. Heavy fog, rain, and snow can obstruct their vision. Also, bad weather creates dangerous road conditions. Many commercial drivers cause crashes when the road is icy or flooded.
As mentioned, large commercial vehicles can have difficulty stopping safely. When bad weather affects the street surface, trucks may skid or roll over. It is also common for commercial trucks to “jackknife” due to bad weather conditions.
Jackknifing refers to an accident where tractor-trailers fold at a perpendicular angle. These dangerous accidents can push other cars off the road. They also force other drivers to stop or swerve, which can cause multi-car collisions.
All cars have areas of limited visibility, also known as blind spots. For commercial drivers operating a large truck or van, these blind spots may be huge. Often, they cannot see behind their vehicle. Commercial drivers get into blind spot accidents when they change lanes or turn. If there’s another vehicle in their blind spot when this happens, they will crash.
Today, many commercial drivers use blind-spot warning systems to reduce accidents caused by limited visibility. But no safety system is completely foolproof. Remember to practice safe passing if you’re driving near a large commercial vehicle. Don’t assume the commercial driver can see you.
Commercial drivers often haul large, heavy cargo. If this cargo is not properly secured, it can come loose. When cargo falls off a truck, it creates dangerous accidents. The cargo may hit another vehicle as it falls. Other vehicles may crash as they swerve to avoid the fallen cargo.
Even small cargo can be hazardous if spilled. Dirt, gravel, or even loose vegetables can cause collisions. Liquid cargo is also known to cause car crashes. Often, liquid cargo consists of dangerous chemicals that may cause burns or toxic fumes.
Mechanical failure also causes commercial drivers to have accidents. If their vehicle has not been well maintained and repaired, they may experience safety issues. Commercial drivers may be unable to control their vehicles due to problems with braking, steering, or acceleration.
Many commercial drivers do not own their trucks. When mechanical failure causes them to crash, the vehicle’s owner may be held liable. If you’ve been involved in a car accident caused by commercial vehicle mechanical failure, be sure to ask for the driver’s employer information.
Commercial drivers are also at risk for fatigue crashes. Often, commercial drivers work very long hours. They may need to wake up early and stay up late to complete a delivery. Some drivers skip sleep to meet their deadlines.
Unfortunately, drowsy driving is unsafe. Studies show that driving while fatigued is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Fatigued commercial drivers may be slow to respond to road hazards. Exhaustion may also impair their judgment, making drivers prone to causing accidents.
Distracted driving also contributes to commercial car crashes. Texting, looking at a map, or eating while driving can negatively impact a commercial driver’s focus. A distracted commercial driver may also forget to check their blind spots.
Many accidents are caused by commercial drivers who aren’t paying attention. Statistically, distracted driving has been shown to be just as dangerous as fatigued driving and driving under the influence.
If you’re involved in a collision with a commercial driver who was distracted, you can receive compensation. The driver will most likely be held liable in these situations.
Finally, impaired driving is another common cause in commercial driver crashes. This includes driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Illegal substances impair judgment, coordination, and reaction time. They affect a commercial driver’s ability to control their vehicle, too.
But illegal substances aren’t the only problem. Commercial drivers can also be impaired by new prescription drugs. If a driver has started a new medication, they may not yet realize how it will impair their driving ability.
Commercial drivers should always ask their doctor about the side effects of medication. They should avoid operating a commercial vehicle until they know how the medication affects them. This caution will help prevent accidents.
Commercial Drivers and Accident Liability
Liability may be complicated in accidents involving commercial drivers. This is because most commercial drivers are hired by transportation companies. Many do not own their vehicle. In these situations, the employer and the vehicle’s owner may share liability.
If you’re not sure who’s at fault, an accident lawyer can help. Contact our Irving law offices today. We can assist with all aspects of your commercial driver lawsuit. We’ll review your case, determine liability, and fight for your rights.
Remember, if we don’t win your case, our services are free. Call (214) 305-8277 or go online to book your complimentary consultation now.