Anyone in Tennessee who has been in a standard passenger car right next to a semi-truck knows how dwarfed this makes one feel. You instantly realize the massive size and weight differential of the two vehicles and are aware of how people in passenger vehicles are at a big disadvantage if they are involved in an accident involving an 18-wheeler. One safety factor that can contribute to an accident and has long been of concern is fatigue among truckers.
Americans rely on large trucks to transport products throughout the country. Truck drivers are needed to accomplish this distribution of goods and ensure the economy is maintained. Yet, for many years, there has been a shortage in qualified truck drivers, which has contributed to several problems. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, truck crashes have been on the rise for several years. The fatality rate from large truck crashes has also increased, from 3,825 in 2012 to 4,213 in 2016. How does the truck driver shortage contribute to the risk of truck crashes and deaths?
When a motorist experiences trouble on the road, sometimes there is no choice but to pull over to the shoulder. Whether passing out snacks to hungry children, waiting for help to arrive after breaking down or changing a flat tire, many Texas drivers assume that the shoulder is a safe place to park on the freeway. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Today’s commercial trucks pose obvious threats to other motorists because of their sheer size and weight, but they can prove even more dangerous and potentially deadly when Texas truck drivers are tired, intoxicated or otherwise ill-equipped to drive. These days, safety advocates are becoming increasingly concerned with another part of many truckers’ lives that may be affecting their performance: long commutes.
Everyone in Texas knows that semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles are essential for transporting goods that individuals and businesses need. However, when these big rigs share the road with regular passenger vehicles, they can pose a great danger to others if an when wrecks happen due to their massive weight and size. Statistics that track the number of deaths in these events show that this danger is all too real.
Driving in Texas is an inherently risky activity, but sharing the road with other drivers who have been abusing drugs or alcohol can make it even more of a dangerous act. When those drivers who have been abusing substances are also sitting behind the wheel of a massive semi-truck, the repercussions can prove downright deadly.
No one need tell you that if your passenger vehicle collides with a tractor-trailer on a Texas road or highway, you and your passengers face the highest risk of receiving serious, possibly catastrophic, injuries. This is what makes distracted truck drivers such a danger on the road.
Getting stuck behind a huge 18-wheeler is no fun. While waiting for an opportunity to pass it, however, Texas motorists may want to look at the extra metal “bumper” hanging down from the trailer’s rear. As CNN reports, that is the rear underride guard that federal law mandates all trailers must have so as to protect the drivers and passengers of passenger vehicles in the event of an accident.
In Texas and across the nation, Americans rely on large trucks to deliver essential goods. It is crucial that there are quality, well-trained truck drivers on the road to maneuver these giant vehicles through traffic and ensure you and everyone is kept safe on the road. Large trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and may pose a serious danger to other vehicles and people if they are not handled correctly. In an attempt to minimize the number of people who are killed and injured in large truck accidents across the country, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration posed regulations on how long a trucker can stay behind the wheel before taking a rest or break.
At the Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz in Texas, we know how irritated you often feel when stuck behind an 18-wheeler on our roads and freeways. Your irritation can quickly turn into fear, however, if one of these behemoths jackknifes right in front of you. This could result in you and your passengers receiving serious injuries if you cannot stop in time and therefore crash into it.