Loop 820 Shut Down For Five Hours
In the first — but hardly the last — commercial truck collision this year, an 18-wheeler crashed into a guardrail and burst into flames on Thursday. The tractor-trailer accident occurred on the 100 block of Northeast Loop 820 at 4:30 p.m. A pickup truck driver suddenly braked on the Highway 21 ramp when he thought he saw ice on the road. Upon seeing the truck, the tractor-trailer driver attempted to brake but couldn’t stop in time. The tractor-trailer driver swerved to miss the truck and lost control of his rig, which jackknifed and slammed into a guardrail.
The semi leaked diesel fuel onto the highway and exploded into a massive fire. The 18-wheeler driver was fortunately able to escape the burning vehicle before it was completely engulfed in flames. Miraculously, nobody else seems to have been seriously injured. However, the highway was shut down for five hours, reopening at about 9 P.M. No ice was on the highway where the pickup truck driver stopped.
Dangers of Tractor-Trailers on Texas Highways
Despite the roadway and vehicular damage and the inconvenience to other drivers, at least this story has a relatively positive ending — nobody
died or suffered catastrophic injuries. When tractor-trailers crash, the results tend to be worse than when lighter, smaller cars collide. The
combination of heavy weight, large size and flammable fuel and materials creates a ticking bomb when a tractor-trailer hits another vehicle or a stationary object such as the highway railing.
For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Texas Department of Public Safety
(TxPDS) have passed special rules to regulate commercial vehicles and
their drivers. Even stricter statutes govern transport of hazardous
materials. These regulations protect operators of tractor-trailers and
the Texas public:
- Rest and hours of service (HOS) restrictions
- Lower threshold for DUI at a BAC of .04 percent
- Special training requirements for drivers
- Specialized commercial vehicle license endorsement
- Logbook and record keeping requirements
- Inspection and weight limits
- Important rules affecting transport of hazardous materials
The tractor-trailer fire demonstrates how
vital these rules are to maintain safe driving conditions on Texas
highways. The simple act of the pickup driver’s over-cautious braking
triggered a series of events that ended in an explosive fire. Some
lawmakers have indicated that they want to ease restrictions on
tractor-trailer transport, but we cannot afford to do so safely.
If you have suffered an injury in an 18-wheeler crash,
you can count on Berenson Law Firm to help you recover. We regularly
handle challenging tractor-trailer accident claims in the Texas courts.
Call our personal injury law firm toll free at 888-801-8585 or
at 817-885-8000 from within the Dallas-Fort Worth area to schedule your free case analysis.