Do you often share the Texas highways in and around San Antonio with semis, tractor-trailers, tankers and 18-wheelers? Then you will likely know how it feels to sit in your passenger vehicle, sandwiched between two big rigs towering over you. It is also no secret that occupants of passenger vehicles typically suffer severe injuries or worse in truck vs. car accidents.
Driving a commercial vehicle of any size typically requires advanced driving skills, for which operators need specific training. This is because the slightest error in driving, lapse of concentration, or loss of focus can cause a catastrophic accident — especially at the higher traveling speeds on highways.
Truck drivers do not only learn to operate a big rig by simply doing it, but by undergoing specialized training mandated by federal and state laws. As a part of the training, truckers learn to master defensive driving and learn how to deal with safety concerns they might encounter as they drive across the country.
Although most commercial truck operators recognize the part they play in their own safety and the safety of other road users, some truckers are prone to make the following mistakes:
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving without securing the cargo
- Driving with improperly loaded cargo
- Overloading the truck
Along with these, some drivers fail to follow other safety guidelines that could put you at risk.
Commercial vehicles have many different moving parts and systems operating simultaneously. When accidents result from equipment failure, you could hold the following parties and entities liable for damages:
- The dealer or seller of the vehicle
- The parts retailer
- The manufacturer of the parts of the truck
- The installer of components or systems
- The mechanic responsible for servicing and repairs of the truck
- The refurbisher of parts
Malfunction or failure of parts or operating systems can cause catastrophic accidents.
Too often, trucking company owners prioritize profits over employee safety. The following are indications of such policies:
- Forcing drivers to rush
- Unrealistic schedules
- Unrealistic expectations
- Expecting drivers to exceed allowed driving hours
- Having to drive while fatigued
- Driver stress caused by employers’ demands
- Improper loading caused by tight deadlines
- Bad working conditions
In some cases, truck operators put themselves under undue stress due to economic pressure. Some drivers overextend themselves to earn more money to meet their financial obligations, which creates dangerous situations that put the lives of others at risk.
Your legal rights
If you are the victim of a car vs. commercial vehicle accident, an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney can answer your questions about your legal rights. The lawyer can assist with establishing negligence and determining whom to list as defendants in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Legal counsel can then provide valuable support and guidance and advocate for you in bringing your claim to a Texas civil court in pursuit of damage recovery.