Trucking accidents can result in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries for the passenger vehicle occupants. The disproportion between the weight of the average big rig (up to 80,000 lbs) and the average passenger vehicle (4,000 lbs) has a lot to do with it. Drivers in Texas should know that there are five common causes of truck accidents, the first being driver error.
Driver error includes drunk and drugged driving, inattentive driving, drowsy driving and speeding. Truckers often speed or drive drowsy in the effort to meet deadlines. However, studies show that passenger vehicle drivers are to blame for the majority (81%) of truck crashes that involve driver error.
The second and third causes are lack of maintenance and equipment failure. The two sometimes go together, but the latter is often due to negligence on the equipment manufacturer’s part. Nevertheless, truckers may find defective components and other dangers if they simply follow the rule of inspecting their rig before every shift.
Bad weather is another cause of accidents as inexperienced truckers are liable to skid or jackknife when braking on wet, icy or snowy roads. Besides proper braking techniques, there are proper cargo loading and securing techniques that must be followed. Overloaded trucks may tip over in strong winds, and insecure cargo can fall out onto the road.
If improper loading or another form of negligence is behind an accident, those who were injured and whose degree of fault is not greater than the other side’s can file a claim. If they are successful, they can be reimbursed for the cost of medical treatments, the wages they lost during their physical recovery and more. However, it may be wise to hire a lawyer because trucking companies have a legal team of their own that can fight against a claim.