Risk factors in large truck accidents
In 2011, there were 432 vehicular fatalities in Texas involving a large truck. In 2015, that number rose to 561.
Any driver in Texas who has been in a typical passenger vehicle alongside a tractor trailer or other large commercial vehicle knows how vulnerable one can feel in such a situation. Whether coming to a stop next to such a large vehicle or travelling next to one on a freeway, the thought of being involved in a crash with these vehicles can be understandably intimidating.
The sad reality is that many such accidents can and do happen. In fact, Texas has seen the number of people killed in wrecks involving these trucks increase over the five years spanning from 2011 to 2015.
How many deaths are attributed to large trucks in Texas?
According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, large truck accidents were involved in the deaths of 432 people in Texas in 2011. Unfortunately that number jumped dramatically the following year to 573. In 2013, it appeared some improvements may have been made as the number of fatalities in truck crashes were 535.
Then, in the subsequent two years, the fatality count increased first to 553 in 2014 and then to 561 in 2015.
What rules are in place to keep people safe?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government agency responsible for commercial transportation regulations. In the past few years, it has instituted two specific rules designed to improve safety associated with two specific accident influencers-fatigue and impairment.
When it comes to tackling trucker fatigue , the FMCSA has instituted what it calls its Hours of Service rule. This basically outlines how many hours a trucker can work in a work week and in a day. It also identifies the number of those hours that can be spent driving and when and for how long breaks must be taken.
When it comes to tackling impairment among truckers, the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse has been established by the FMCSA. This is basically a large database that holds results and reports on substance testing for drivers. Employers are required to test all job applicants and to continue substance testing even once drivers are hired. They are also required to review the database for any prior failed or refused tests or other impaired driving offenses.
How can I get help if involved in a truck accident?
Texas residents who have been involved in accidents involving semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles should contact an attorney promptly. There can be many complexities when dealing with not only insurance companies but commercial trucking companies as well and having experienced guidance is important when seeking compensation.