One of the most common happenings on the roads of Texas during this period is 18-wheeler accidents in Texas. This write-up portrays some facts you need to know about these happenings.
18 Wheeler Accidents In Texas
One fact to note is that 18 wheelers accidents are now more complex than traditional car accidents.
What is an 18-wheeler?
An 18-wheeler is a truck with 18 wheels that is made up of a tractor and a trailer. Most people interchangeably use terms like “18-wheeler,” “big rig,” and “semi-truck” to describe any large commercial truck.
Large trucks are legally regulated based on vehicle weight and cargo type. As a result, whether a truck has 10 wheels, 16 wheels, or 18 wheels is generally unimportant.
Nonetheless, let’s learn more about the typical 18-wheeler.
Types of 18 Wheelers Accidents
18-wheelers are prone to various types of accidents. Some of these accidents are:
Rollover accidents refer to a type of vehicle accident where a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof during a collision or loss of control. In these accidents, the vehicle rolls over, often multiple times, before coming to a stop. Rollover accidents can occur with various types of vehicles, including cars, SUVs, trucks, and even buses.
A jackknifed truck is one in which the cab and trailer have slid out of control toward each other, resembling a pocketknife folded in half. A jackknife accident occurs when a truck loses traction, such as when braking suddenly, exceeding a safe speed in a sharp turn, or driving in rain, snow, or icy conditions. A cargo shift can occasionally throw the trailer off balance and into a skid.
Underride accidents occur when a smaller vehicle, such as a car or motorcycle, collides with a larger vehicle, such as a truck or trailer, and slides underneath it. In these accidents, the smaller vehicle can become wedged or trapped beneath the larger vehicle, often resulting in severe or fatal injuries to the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
Unsecured Load Accidents
Unsecured load accidents refer to incidents that occur when objects or cargo being transported on a vehicle are not properly secured and subsequently fall off or shift, leading to accidents or hazards on the road. These accidents can happen with various types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, trailers, or even motorcycles.
Tire Blowout Accidents
Tire blowout accidents occur when a tire on a vehicle suddenly bursts or loses a significant amount of air pressure while the vehicle is in motion. This sudden tire failure can lead to a loss of control and potentially result in an accident.
Causes of Semi Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA), widely regarded as the driving force behind trucking industry regulation to reduce truck accidents, addresses issues such as driver qualifications, emergency equipment, safe loading, alcohol and drug use, and a variety of other factors. The following are some of the most common causes of truck accidents:
- Inadequate training
- Overloaded vehicles
- oversized vehicles
- Failure or defect in the brakes
- Poor road conditions
- Inexperienced driver
- Failure to yield the right of way when running off the road
- Aggressive driving style
- Driving while high on drugs and/or alcohol
- Driving that is dangerous or reckless
- Mechanical breakdown
Do You Need an Attorney for a Semi Truck Accident
Accidents involving 18-wheelers are notorious for causing extensive damage. As a result, insurers are hesitant to pay the damages outright.
An experienced Texas lawyer can investigate the cause of the accident, identify all potentially liable parties, negotiate with the insurance company, and, if necessary, take the case to trial.
How To Find an Attorney for an 18-Wheeler Truck Accident
If you need to find an attorney for an 18-wheeler truck accident, here are some steps you can take:
Utilize search engines to find attorneys or law firms that specialize in personal injury or truck accident cases in your area. Look for those with experience specifically in handling 18-wheeler or commercial truck accidents.
Ask friends, family, or colleagues if they have any recommendations for attorneys who have successfully handled truck accident cases. Personal referrals can provide valuable insights and firsthand experiences.
Contact local bar associations
Reach out to your local or state bar association for referrals to attorneys specializing in truck accident cases. They often have referral services or directories available to assist you in finding suitable legal representation.
Consult legal directories
Online legal directories, such as Avvo, FindLaw, or Justia, can provide listings of attorneys practicing in your area and their respective areas of expertise. These directories often include reviews and ratings from previous clients, which can help you assess their reputation and competence.
Once you have shortlisted potential attorneys, contact them to schedule initial consultations. Many attorneys offer free or low-cost initial consultations to discuss your case and determine if they are a good fit for your needs.
Safety Measure for 18 Wheelers Vehicles
Preventing 18-wheeler accidents involves a combination of measures aimed at drivers, trucking companies, and other road users. Here are some preventive measures to consider:
Driver Training and Education
Provide comprehensive training programs for truck drivers that cover safe driving practices, defensive driving techniques, and proper handling of large vehicles. Emphasize the importance of adhering to traffic laws and regulations.
Driver Fatigue Management
implement policies and regulations to address driver fatigue, such as limiting driving hours, mandating rest breaks, and promoting healthy sleep habits. Fatigue is a significant factor in truck accidents, so ensuring drivers are well-rested is crucial.
Vehicle Maintenance and Inspections
Enforce strict maintenance schedules for trucks to ensure they are in optimal condition. Regular inspections should be conducted to identify and address any mechanical issues promptly. This includes checking tires, brakes, lights, and other critical components.
Encourage responsible speed management by drivers, promoting adherence to posted speed limits and adjusting speeds according to road and weather conditions. Speeding significantly increases the risk of accidents, especially for large vehicles like 18-wheelers.
Safe Following Distance
Emphasize the importance of maintaining a safe following distance between trucks and other vehicles. Trucks require longer stopping distances, so maintaining adequate space can help prevent rear-end collisions and provide sufficient reaction time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do We Rely On 18-Wheelers?
According to recent estimates, 18-wheelers deliver roughly 70% of all products in the United States. Furthermore, 18-wheelers travel approximately 175 billion miles per year.
How Many Miles Per Gallon Does the Average 18-Wheeler Get?
Only 8.9 miles per gallon are achieved by the most fuel-efficient 18-wheelers. A couple of ways to improve fuel efficiency are side skirts that prevent wind turbulence under the trailer and round caps placed over the trailer doors.
How Big Is An 18-Wheeler’s Engine?
Engines in 18-wheelers are, predictably, much larger than engines in smaller cars. The engines in most 18-wheelers are six times larger than those in smaller cars. To provide torque, large engines are required. Torque is what allows an 18-wheeler to tow massive loads while keeping all 18 wheels turning.
What is a 5th wheel?
On an 18-wheeler, the 5th wheel is the round plate above the drive tires that connects the trailer and the truck.
How Much Does An 18-Wheeler Weigh?
In Texas, a fully loaded 18-wheeler can legally weigh 80,000 pounds (40 tons). This is roughly 17 times the curb weight of a 2019 Ford F-150, which ranges from 4,069 to 5,697 pounds depending on cab size, engine size, and bed size. The payload capacity of new F-150s ranges from 1,745 to 2,238 pounds.
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