Richardson Improper Passing Truck Accident Lawyer
Highway safety is vital for drivers in the Lone Star state. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there’s one car accident every 56 seconds. In 2019 alone, there were 12,897 serious crashes in Texas. Over 15,000 people sustained severe injuries in these incidents.
Improper passing causes many of these accidents. When a driver passes improperly, they may sideswipe another vehicle. In other scenarios, you may accidentally crash your car to avoid a negligent driver merging into you.
Improper passing also contributes to rear-end collisions, rollover crashes, and other common car accidents. The consequences of improper passing are often severe. Victims of these crashes may become permanently disabled or even killed.
In most cases, improper passing is a form of negligent or reckless driving. If you’re hit by another driver who was passing improperly, you could be eligible for damages. An accident settlement could cover medical bills and repair or replace your damaged car. It could also help you get back on your feet after an accident.
You have legal rights in an improper passing accident case. Call (214) 740-4556 to discuss your options with one of our Richardson, TX accident lawyers. Consultations are free. Unless we win your case, you won’t be billed for our services.
The Dangers of Improper Passing
Improper passing is dangerous because it usually occurs at high speeds on the interstate. In Texas, the average highway speed limit is 75 mph. Even if you’re struck by a smaller vehicle, this could be a disaster.
In an improper passing accident, physics tells us how to calculate impact force. It’s determined by multiplying vehicle acceleration (speed) times vehicle mass (weight). An average midsize car weighs around 3,300 pounds. If this car smashes into your vehicle while traveling 75 mph, the impact force will be 247,500 newtons (the unit of measurement for impact force).
This is a significant amount of force. With heavier cars, such as trucks and SUVs, the impact force becomes even greater. Commercial transport vehicles like tractor-trailers are almost always lethal in an improper passing accident.
Additionally, most improper passing accidents cause a side-impact collision, also known as a t-bone crash. T-bone crashes are often fatal because the car’s side isn’t reinforced. Even with side airbags, there is nothing to protect you from the other car except thin metal and glass.
Improper passing also causes vehicles to rollover. When struck at the right angle with the right amount of force, your car could be forced off balance. It could also skid off the side of the road, then flip over when the tires leave the pavement. Rollover crashes are notoriously dangerous. They frequently cause severe injuries and death.
Texas Passing Laws: Share the Road
In Texas, it’s illegal to pass unless it’s safe to do so. You must use your turn signal, check your blind spots, and yield to the cars that are already in the lane. If you don’t follow these rules, it’s considered negligent driving. You’re in violation of passing laws and could cause an accident.
Many multi-lane highways also have a special left-hand lane designated for passing only. Usually, these lanes are marked with a sign that says, “Left Lane for Passing Only.” Use this lane to pass slower vehicles. Then, move to the right again as soon as you’ve safely cleared them.
Remember to share the road. On the interstate near Richardson, you’ll see many semi-trucks and tractor-trailers carrying oversized loads. These vehicles can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. If you pass improperly, the truck driver may not see you. Even if they do, it could be too late to avoid an accident.
Due to their size and their unique braking system, commercial transport trucks need a long time to decelerate. From the time a truck driver hits the brakes to the time the semi finally stops, the vehicle may have traveled 100 yards or more.
Always maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially semis. Be aware of other drivers’ blind spots. When you’re passing a car or truck, don’t return to your original lane until you see the headlights and license plate in your mirror.
Why Do People Pass Improperly?
If improper passing is so dangerous, why do people do it? Unfortunately, many reckless drivers don’t think about the safety of others. Instead, they prioritize speed. Drivers may weave in and out of traffic, passing improperly, just to cut a few minutes off their commute time.
Improper passing often becomes a habit. When drivers pass improperly enough times without causing an accident, they may falsely believe that they’re still driving safely. They may feel that the rules don’t apply to them or develop a sense of invincibility.
People also pass improperly when their judgment is impaired. For example, drugs and alcohol contribute to improper passing. A driver who is under the influence isn’t thinking straight. Additionally, drugs and alcohol affect their depth perception and sense of distance.
A driver who is high or drunk may not realize they’re doing anything wrong. Yet they may cause a horrible car crash as a result of their improper passing. Driving under the influence also impacts a driver’s ability to steer their vehicle. They may begin to pass, back off, but lose control of their vehicle and cause an accident anyway.
Finally, improper passing occurs as a result of distracted driving. A driver who is texting, talking to a passenger, or adjusting their radio may fail to check their mirrors and blind spots when passing. They may crash into another car as they change lanes.
Legal Aid for Improper Passing Accidents
Were you involved in an improper passing accident? If another driver struck your vehicle while passing, you could be eligible for damages in a lawsuit. Seek legal counsel now. Our Richardson, TX accident attorneys are ready to assist you.
We’ll listen to your story, help determine liability, then formulate a legal strategy for your unique case. If we don’t win, you won’t be billed. Call (214) 740-4556 for your free accident consultation.