Texas, unfortunately, is consistently ahead of most other U.S. states in the number of truck accidents that occur each year. Houston, the state’s largest city at 2, 303,000 residents, experienced 1,855 serious truck accidents in 2106. Of these, more than 400 involved tractor trailers or semis. A truck accident attorney Houston – based often led the fight for victims’ financial compensation for injuries and loved ones’ fatalities.
Accidents involving large trucks such as 18 wheelers often have causes unique to these big rigs. Far more are caused by drivers of passenger vehicles sharing the road with these trucks, than by the truck drivers themselves. Typically, these car drivers don’t understand the limitations of truck driving, as compared with the flexibility of maneuvering and braking that smaller vehicles can safely accomplish.
Passenger-vehicle drivers cause truck accidents in the following ways:
- Driving in a truck’s blind spots. Unlike passenger vehicles, a semi or 18-wheeler driver cannot see a small car directly behind the truck, or in several points along its side
- Making abrupt lane changes right in front of the truck
- Pulling to the right of a truck that is preparing to turn right
- Passing a truck without sufficient space in front of the truck for it to avoid abrupt braking
- Making a left turn in front of an oncoming truck, with poor judgment about the speed of the truck’s approach
- A hazardous merge into traffic that causes a large truck to brake or try to maneuver more quickly than it safely can
- Not increasing or decreasing speed enough to allow a truck to change lanes safely
- Pulling into traffic from the roadside in front of a truck without accelerating sufficiently
- Maneuvering into traffic from a side road or the roadside, but without enough acceleration to avoid a truck’s need for braking or maneuvering
- Abandoning a disabled car in an unsafe area such as a traffic lane, or on the roadside but not completely on the shoulder.
Few of these situations would lead to traffic accidents if the vehicles involved were both passenger cars. Trucks, however, are far less flexible in their maneuverability, and cause far greater damage and financial setback to the other vehicles and passengers involved, as a result of their size and weight. In fact, an accident that involves a large truck is ten times more likely to cause a fatality than a traffic accident between passenger vehicles.
If you or your loved one is one of the more than two million residents of metropolitan Houston, Texas, and injured by or the suspected cause of, a local truck accident, one of your first calls should be to a truck accident attorney Houston-based.