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How to Avoid Being in a Texas Truck Accident

Because of their size and weight, a Texas truck accident is usually far more serious than the average car crash.  There were about 5,100 fatality collisions involving trucks in the United States in 2018, according to statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. That is because commercial truck crashes are much more dangerous than those involving smaller vehicles.  Here is a photo from a case we handled recently to give you an idea of the massive damage a jack-knifed 18-wheeler can cause on our North Texas roads.

Texas Truck Accident Causes

Trucks are much larger, heavier, slower, and more difficult to maneuver than cars, but many truck and vehicle drivers seem to forget this. These are some of the common causes of a Texas truck accident that we have seen over the last 40 years:  

Blind Spots

This is probably the biggest factor when it comes to truck accidents. Because of their length, trucks have much larger blind spots than smaller vehicles in these four areas:
  • directly in front of the tractor trailer,
  • directly behind it, and
  • on both sides next to its side mirrors, especially on the right.
Remember that if a smaller vehicle gets within 100 feet of the back of an 18-wheeler, it will usually be invisible to its driver. 

Speed and Stopping Distance

Many tractor-trailers have a gross weight vehicle rating exceeding 80,000 pounds. Traveling at typical interstate speed of 65 miles per hour, a three-axle truck-tractor with a two-axle semitrailer travels over 95 feet per second (or the distance of three first downs on a football field) and can take up a whopping 900 feet to come to a stop.

Driver Issues

Truckers have to cover long distances with their cargo, and often try to travel as quickly as possible for the sake of efficiency. This means 18-wheeler drivers often take to the road in a rushed and even sleep-deprived state, significantly increasing their risk of causing a collision. Substance use is also a problem. Alcohol and prescription medication often have a role to play in a Texas truck accident. Of course, this is not limited just to those behind the wheel of a truck. The CDC reports that alcohol was involved in 28% of all deaths that occurred on American roads in 2016.

Poor or Unsuitable Roads

Tractor-trailers perform best on wide, straight, well-maintained, and dry roads. But when they have to navigate routes with tight turns or roads with potholes or other types of damage, crashes become more likely. These kinds of roads are common in more remote areas. Wildlife Sometimes truck wrecks happen because an animal comes onto the road unexpectedly. This is a particularly pressing issue in rural areas, especially during deer season that starts this weekend. Drivers of large vehicles should be especially conscious of the possibility of animals getting in their way.

Avoiding Texas Truck Accident: Truckers

As a truck driver, there are a few steps you can take to keep yourself and other road users safe. These include the following:
  • Get the proper amount of rest. In Texas, commercial drivers can only legally be on duty for 15 consecutive hours, and can only drive for 12 of these. Drivers must also take 8 consecutive hours off after reaching one of these limits. However, if you feel tired despite having time left before breaching a limit, you should still rest.
  • Make your vehicle visible when you pull over by using flashers or cones, especially in darkness.
  • Make sure your vehicle is running properly by taking it for regular checks and having any issues fixed promptly. Many a Texas truck accident has been caused by avoidable mechanical faults, especially in all the one-truck, owner-operator businesses on the road.
  • Carry different kinds of weather-related equipment in your vehicle at all times. You never know how conditions will change, especially if you are traveling long distances.
Remember, your obligations to other road users are more serious when you drive a large vehicle. The consequences of a simple mistake can be severe.

Avoiding Truck Accidents: Other Drivers 

While truck drivers bear the responsibility for managing their larger and more dangerous vehicles, there are things other road users can do to help them. Small/moderate sized car drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians are most at risk of serious injury from truck collisions. Even if you drive a pickup truck or SUV, it’s a good idea to know how to protect yourself.

Watch Out For Blind Spots

Never cut off a tractor-trailer. Be conscious of the large blind spot trucks have when you’re driving behind or beside one. Be extremely cautious passing them, use your turn signal, flash your headlights, then speed up to get out the way. Stay well behind large commercial vehicles, especially when roads are wet or congested with stop-and-go traffic, as it will take longer to brake fully. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the truck driver in their mirror, they should be able to see you. If you can’t see them, you should try to reposition yourself on the road.

Don’t Overtake a Truck Going Downhill

Trucks take longer to stop than other vehicles due to their weight. They take even longer than usual when going down a slope. Therefore, you should try to avoid passing out trucks and buses while traveling downhill.

Keep a sufficient amount of room ahead of the 18-wheeler

If he or she is tail-gating you, you should move over and let them pass. You don't want to run the risk of being rear-ended by an aggressive driver.

Be Responsible for Yourself

Don’t assume truck drivers will drive perfectly or obey every rule of the road. As they say, accidents happen, and truck accidents have a far greater impact on car users than trucker. In 2017, 72% of those killed in truck accidents were driving the smaller vehicles. With this in mind, be extra-cautious when sharing the road with a truck. Make sure you always have room to protect yourself in the event of an unexpected movement from a large vehicle. This applies doubly to cyclists. To be entirely safe, you should dismount if you encounter a truck on a challenging stretch of road. Even without touching you or your bike, a truck can cause you to lose control or fall if it gets too close at speed.

What to Do When Something Goes Wrong

Avoiding crashes must be a priority of every person on the road. Whether you’re a big rig operator, a driver of a passenger truck or car, and especially a motorcyclist or pedestrian, there are steps you can take to keep your risk as low as possible. Unfortunately, avoiding truck accidents is not always possible. If you have been involved in a truck crash, whether as a truck driver or the operator of another vehicle, you could be facing significant medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses if you don’t obtain a favorable settlement or jury verdict. For more on this topic: How much money can you receive from commercial insurance after crash? When seeking legal advice in the aftermath of a Fort Worth area truck accident, it is a good idea to hire a good Fort Worth personal injury lawyer.  At Berenson Injury Law, we’ve been helping people injured in a Texas truck accident since 1980. If you have been injured or lost a family member in any type of vehicle collision, contact us for a free consultation. Related post: What you should do after a tractor-trailer crash

This photograph is from the latest horrific crash in Denver you may have seen on the news. A young 18 wheeler driver was speeding on an interstate highway. He failed to stop as he approached vehicles backed up at a car wreck, rammed into the rear of one, and set off a catastrophic series of tractor trailer crashes. There were a total of 28 vehicles involved. A massive fire erupted and four people were trapped inside who tragically lost their lives. Other people suffered life-threatening injuries. This nightmare didn't happen in Texas -- but it easily could have. Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos held a Texas commercial driver's license, lived in Houston, and was hauling lumber to San Antonio. The driver clearly was incompetent. He was only 23 years old and had little experience behind the wheel of a big rig. He was recklessly driving at a rate of 85 mph and had been reported for weaving in and out of congested rush-hour traffic. The speed limit for commercial trucks was restricted to 45 mph to avoid tractor trailer crashes like these. The Denver wrecks are just the latest reminder of why we need to increase our regulations of 18 wheeler drivers and companies. The very small trucking business owned by the driver's brother should not have been allowed to be out on the highways. This truck tractor had prior mechanical difficulties and had caused tractor trailer crashes in other states. The driver claimed his brakes failed. When was the last time they had been inspected? There were over 4,300 deaths and 30,000 injuries caused by tractor trailer crashes in 2016, the most recent year data is available according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Almost all were in the passenger car, SUV, or truck that was crashed into by the tractor trailer that can weigh more than 80,000 pounds GWVR. The occupants of the smaller vehicle are extremely vulnerable and need to be compensated for their injuries and damages. But with increased trade and a growing population, not to mention a surge in Amazon purchases, our highways and roads are busier and more dangerous than ever.

[caption id="attachment_1698" align="aligncenter" width="410"] Courtesy of NBC-5[/caption] On Friday afternoon a tractor trailer driver was muscling his way east on Interstate 20 in Weatherford when he collided into traffic that had backed up. The driver was not able to slow down, hit a stopped SUV, and set off a chain-reaction. The 18 wheeler hit the median wall and cable system that fortunately prevented it from going onto the other side of the highway and cause more mayhem. The big rig flipped over on its driver side, spilling plastic bottles all over the interstate. The interstate was shut down into the night-time hours. Here's another fatal 18 wheeler crash that didn't need to happen. Sadly, a 44-year-old woman in one of the cars in front of the 18 wheeler lost her life. And seven other people had to be rushed to area hospitals and two other people were treated at the scene. We extend our condolences to the family of the woman and prayers for a speedy recovery to the injured victims. Berenson Injury Law recently concluded a case for a man seriously injured in a 18 wheeler crash not far from this site and another where a woman lost her life when a tractor trailer rear ended her and other vehicles. We have unfortunately had to handle many other fatal 18 wheeler crashes like this over the past nearly 40 years. We see how constant they are. But they shouldn't be.

Dallas 18-wheeler crash this morning claims lives of three

The number of people getting seriously injured and even killed in Texas due to crashes involving 18-wheelers unfortunately continues to rise. Just this morning, the most recent tragedy happened in Dallas at about 2:00 AM when three people in a car lost their lives on Interstate 30. It is not clear at this time how the crash happened and we often see driving while intoxicated crashes at that time. But sadly, this is just another news story and statistic about Texas truck injuries and fatalities. And there is no end in sight. The photograph is not from the Dallas crash but from a case we recently resolved at a mediation. We filed suit after this tractor-trailer rear-ended several vehicles on an interstate in Fort Worth. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that a shocking 4,317 people died -- 556 of those being Texans -- and 30,000 people were injured in large truck crashes. Of course, almost all of the victims were the occupants of other vehicles. The 80,000 gross vehicle weight rated tractor-trailer almost always wins the battle with the smaller car or pickup truck. And care to guess which state had the highest number of large trucks that were in fatal wrecks? Woo hoo, we're #1, with 539 commercial vehicles involved in these crashes. That's way too many. After all, one is too many, especially if it has affected your or someone you love. The flurry of truck wrecks is despite the constant improvement and increase in technology, testing, training, and regulations --and no doubt lawsuits against commercial truck companies and their negligent drivers --  that have improved the safety of the our highways.

After you have been involved in a crash with an 18 wheeler or other big truck, you need to know who is going to pay your medical bills and how much money is available to pay your other damages.

Dallas-Fort Worth truck lawyer Bill Berenson explains what you need to know about commercial truck insurance and truck accident cases. 

Recent Case Shows Why You Need a Good Injury Lawyer After You Are in a Collision

Our law firm recently settled a lawsuit arising out of this multi-vehicle crash but it wasn't easy. There were six vehicles and eight injured people and the small truck company did not even have an insurance policy. Even so, the injury lawyers involved figured out a way to obtain the amount required for commercial truck insurance under federal law and get our clients paid after attending a mediation. But crashes like this with 18-wheelers, box trucks, pickup trucks, and SUVs can cause devastating injuries and huge medical bills. Finding out who to contact, how to proceed, and how much money is available can be difficult -- often intentionally. Our firm knows what to do after a commercial truck collision after almost 40 years of fighting for injured Texans. This post will explain how commercial truck insurance works and how it can get you repaid for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages you have sustained after a truck accident.

The increasing number of accidents involving large trucks and the severity of the injuries they cause is a serious problem for motorists. While the effects of accidents involving 18-wheelers like the one pictured can be devastating, smaller commercial vehicles also pose a common safety risk. Trucks driven by plumbers, grass cutters, cable installers, florists, and other businesses rely on a fleet of vehicles to deliver their products or services. Are they held to the same safety regulations as larger vehicles?

Trucking Safety Regulations

The Role of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Fortunately the answer is yes -- depending on several factors. The FMCSA is the federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The primary goal of the agency is to reduce crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities caused by large trucks and buses but it also has jurisdiction over smaller vehicles. States also have laws related to the license and driving requirements for commercial vehicles. Any business using commercial motor vehicles must obtain authority from both state and federal trucking authorities. Trucking safety regulations are important to every driver on the road. We share the roadways with all types of commercial trucks every day. While the FMCSA determines the regulations for all types of CMVs, it is up to the employers and the drivers to enforce them. A personal injury lawyer often finds that businesses and employers have failed to abide by federal trucking safety rules and are also at fault.

Which Vehicles Are Covered?

The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and the number of passengers a vehicle determines if a driver must have a commercial drivers license. CDL licenses ensure that drivers have increased training to handle a variety of conditions. Laws pertaining to the application and licensing process differ somewhat among the states. One consistency is that any vehicle with a weight of more than 26,001 pounds requires CDL licensure. Businesses that operate CMVs that alone (or combined with a trailer) weigh more than 10,001 pounds are required to register the vehicles and abide by the FMCSA trucking safety regulations. Some states have increased this weight limit to include trucks anywhere from 12,000 to 26,000 pounds, which coincides with the CDL requirements. Although a vehicle doesn’t require a CDL driver, many companies require the drivers to follow the same trucking safety regulations imparted by FMCSA. The key is understanding the different classes of CDL and weights that apply to different types of vehicles: Class A – Single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, or a combination of vehicles with the towed vehicle having a GVWR over 10,000 pounds. Class B – Single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or more, or is towing a vehicle with a GVWR of no more than 10,000 pounds, or a farm trailer with a GVWR of no more than 20,000 pounds. Class C – A single or combination vehicle not included in Classes A or B. Single vehicles with a GVWR less than 26,001 pounds or towing a farm trailer with a GVWR of no more than 20,000 pounds. A vehicle designed to transport 23 or fewer passengers including the driver. An autocycle. Some of the most important regulations that apply to CDL drivers are the prohibitions against using alcohol, drugs, texting, hand-held phones, and driving while fatigued. These are some of the leading causes of truck crashes. Both CDL and non-CDL must follow these regulations and others, including using their seat belts and use of extreme caution during hazardous weather. If you have been injured in an accident involving any commercial vehicle, contact Berenson Injury Law. If the driver and/or the employer were negligent, you may have the right to collect compensation.

Whether bad driving, poor maintenance, distracted driving, lack of sleep or lack of training in emergency situations, these Texas truck crashes in the last few months were preventable. A good personal injury lawyer can help stop these from happening and help the victims and their families recover their damages.

Blowout Causes Fatal Crash

Recent Texas Truck Crashes

Take, for example, the crash of an 18-wheeler in Hill County last month. Barreling down a rural stretch on Texas Highway 31 according to KWTX, the young driver lost control of his vehicle after a blowout, causing the truck to leave the roadway and overturn. The tires were old. Tragically, the 26-year-old driver died at the scene.

Why transportation companies don't undertake pre-trip inspections and conduct hands-on training for their employees is a mystery. If they had prepared their trucks and employees for such situations, the young man might still be alive.

Dump Truck Crashes into Train, Killing Two and Injuring 11

An Arlington-area crash left a dump truck driver and a passenger dead after it maneuvered around the crossing arms, risking both lives to save a few seconds, Dallas News reports. Police report that the passenger train was traveling well under its speed limit when the crash occurred. Unfortunately with a lot of 18-wheeler and other commercial vehicle crashes, this is not uncommon. The haste to get from one job to another under employer or customer pressure causes far too many of these "accidents."

Slow Down

Like the blowout, this one was avoidable. Customers and employers who demand unsafe speed from their drivers at the risk of public safety need to reassess their priorities.

Reduce Speed-Induced Truck Crashes with Mandatory Safety Protocols

Our law firm only handles car, truck, 18-wheeler, and motorcycle crash cases and we have represented many people and their families after serious injuries or loss of life from speed-caused crashes. Pizza companies have dropped their requirement for drivers to prioritize speed over safety. Unfortunately, it took a lawsuit to get there. Companies who use large vehicles to deliver goods and services have an even larger obligation to ensure that their drivers prioritize safety rather than time limits. After all, their vehicles can cause even greater damage due to their size.

Reduce Road Hazard Accidents with Better Training

Road Hazards

Lack of preparation for road hazards on their employers’ part has spurred experienced truckers themselves to post training videos and articles for their colleagues, hoping that their advice will help save lives.

In the trucking industry journal, trucker Jennifer Black Cordero, having recently survived a blowout herself, provided these tips:
  • Keep a cool head—don’t panic
  • Make sure you get cruise control turned off
  • Don’t hit the brakes
  • Step into the accelerator
  • Play “what if”
Truckers who have had the proper training to fight their instincts to hit the brakes and stay off the fuel pedal have a shot to survive in such a situation. Even without formal training, articles like this one can make up for the lack of hands-on training. Her “what if” scenario is especially important. Drivers can use these mental exercises to go over in their minds what they would do in case a car cuts them off or spins out, if a deer or other animal runs across the road, in case they lose traction on ice or on a rainy day, or if their tire blows. Truckers can take this one step further in their spare time by combining these mental exercises with muscle memory by imitating the motions they will need to go through to compensate during these emergencies.

We Can Help You

As a law firm who only represents the victims in crashes like these, it frustrates us to see the companies making the same mistakes over and over again, despite numerous losses of life and serious injuries. Our firm will hold companies’ feet to the fire for these completely preventable tragedies. If you have suffered an injury in a truck accident, please contact us at Berenson Law.

Fatal truck crashes cause thousands of drivers and passenger of much smaller vehicles to become innocent victims. Our government's inaction as the number of truck crashes surge is maddening.  Tragic truck crashes are becoming the the new norm instead of rare events. Just last year here in Dallas and Tarrant Counties, we had these terrible statistics: almost 6,000 collisions involving tractor-trailers tragically took the lives of 53 people and injured over 3,500 others. Crashes between tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles often have devastating impacts on motorists. An 18-wheeler easily has a weight of 80,000 pounds in comparison to about 4,000 pounds for a normal car. Here are some recent examples of the effects that truck crashes can have: --- Jeff Kolkman was a 38-year-old father of four and, what his peers considered a “very safe driver.” Kolkman made safety a top priority – until the day that everything went wrong. While he was driving a 2016 Volvo semi down the interstate at 70 mph, he took the time to look down at the black tablet in his right hand. A dash-cam recording in the truck captured Kolkman’s actions until he slammed into the rear of a 2014 Toyota Camry, waiting in traffic outside of West Terre Haute, Indiana. Witnesses say that Kolkman never braked and only slowed down slightly. The dash-cam went black as the truck slammed into the Camry, bringing four lives to a fiery end. ---Former Kansas City TV station executive, Pam Biddle knows the heartache fatal truck crashes cause. Pam, her 23-year-old-son, Aaron Lee, and her ex-husband, Brian Lee, along with Brian Lee’s girlfriend, Stephani Swaim, were passengers in the Camry struck by Jeff Kolkman’s truck. When the crash occurred, the Camry was shoved under a 53-foot flatbed trailer loaded with steel bars. Pam was the only survivor of the crash. The others died instantly. The crash was so hot, the victims could only be identified from the ID in their wallets. It took nearly an hour to scrape the melted soles of Pam’s son’s shoes from the floorboard. --- Demi Arvanitakis was in the rear of a line of traffic, on her way to get a better view of the total solar eclipse. She, and three of her friends, all 19-year-old sophomores at Creighton University, were in her Prius, on their way to Lincoln. The brain injury Arvanitakis received erased her memory from when the semi roared up behind her, crashing into her car. Her friend in the back, Joan Ocampo-Yambing, was a casualty of the crash. Not only does Arvanitakis have to live with her own injuries and the loss of her friend; but also the fear of realizing the passenger sitting just behind her didn’t survive the crash. --- A Toyota Sequoia packed full with eleven people began having engine problems while traveling along I-70. The vehicle had slowed to about 40 mph when a semi traveling 75 mph struck the car from behind. Six of the eleven inside were killed. Although the National Transportation Safety Board said the accident might have been prevented if the trucking company installed the optional collision avoidance system, the organization also blamed the driver of the Toyota for traveling without his hazard lights and having an overloaded vehicle. ---It happened in January of 2012 but the crash still serves as a wake-up call for anyone who believes fatal truck crashes only happen to other people. The story appeared on a recent episode of Dateline. Kelli Groves and her two daughters, Sage, aged 10 years and Mylo, aged 10 months were involved in the crash. A computer demonstration showed how the BMW car the Groves were in was overtaken by a semi as they crossed a bridge in Buellton, California. The semi crumpled the car, dragged it up onto the side of the bridge, and then went over the side, crashing into a fiery mass below. Kelli and her girls were trapped in the crumpled mess. Kelly was in the front of the vehicle, where she was unable to see whether her children were dead or alive. Rescuers spent about two hours trying to get the Groves out of the wrecked car. The position over the bridge with the burning truck below made rescue attempts even more dangerous. All three victims escaped the ordeal. Kelli had a broken pelvis, Mylo only a scrape on her head. Sage had to undergo three surgeries in the hospital followed by therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Her body was cut by glass, requiring more than 100 stitches. Sage also had to spend six weeks in a wheelchair and returned to the hospital for another surgery in 2013 to remove fragments of glass from her ankle. The truck driver who struck the BMW was 48-year-old Charles Allison. He was killed on impact when the truck crashed below the bridge. It was later discovered that Allison was under the influence of both amphetamines and methamphetamine at the time of the crash. The Groves filed a lawsuit against the trucking company that Allison worked for and his estate. Kelli, Sage, and Mylo received a million dollar settlement in 2014 to be divided among the three according to court records. While drug use is one reason truck drivers crash, it isn’t the primary cause.

Most Common Causes of Fatal Truck Crashes

Big trucks are a necessary evil, transporting all kinds of goods across our country. In spite of recent legislation designed to address common contributing factors, the percentage of fatal truck crashes isn’t going in the right direction. Before anyone can find a solution, they first have to look at what causes these accidents in the first place.

Leading causes of fatal truck crashes are:

  1. Speeding

Speeding is a serious issue with big trucks due to their size and weight. The faster they are going when they crash into another vehicle, the greater the impact. It also takes trucks longer to stop because of their heavy weight. Drivers are much more likely to lose control of their truck when they travel at high speeds.
  1. Distracted Driving
When Jeff Kolkman took his eyes off the road to look at his tablet, he was guilty of distracted driving. Most often, we think of distracted driving as texting or talking on a cell phone. But anything that takes your attention off the road, even for a couple of seconds, is enough to cause a fatal crash.
  1. Impaired Driving

Impaired driving means being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Commercial truck drivers are held to a higher standard than other drivers when it comes to impaired driving. The accident caused by Charles Allison Jr is one example of how impaired driving puts the truck drivers and the public at risk. Both illicit drugs and prescriptions that affect the person’s ability to drive are prohibited. Some truck companies randomly screen drivers for amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and other dangerous drugs. Tests for alcohol are often limited to drivers what have been involved in an accident. Truck companies who hire drivers with previous DUI arrests or who don’t use regular screening methods for their drivers may be liable when their employee causes a crash.
  1. Fatigue
Today’s Hours-of-Service rules have made it less likely that truck drivers will be behind the wheel when too fatigued to stay awake. Trucking companies are no longer permitted to give them hectic routes that don’t allow time for breaks or sleep. Trucking companies that ignore the rules or keep inaccurate log books prevent the rules from eliminating the problem of fatigued drivers altogether. However, this is no longer the leading cause of fatal truck crashes.
  1. Overloaded Trucks
Semi-trucks are held to weight limitations, limiting the amount of freight they can carry. Trucking companies that exceed those limits put the truck at a greater risk of causing a crash. Too much weight throws the truck out of balance and reduces the control the driver has over it.

What Is the Solution to Reduce Truck Crashes?

It might seem impossible to come up with a solution that could have a serious impact on the number of fatalities caused by truck crashes. But there is technology available that would do just that.

So What’s the Hold-Up?

That’s the question that a lot of people and organizations are asking. Not only is the technology available; it has been around for some time. The reason that it hasn’t been implemented comes down to Congress and federal regulatory agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

All they have to do is make new technology mandatory that would prevent rear-end collisions. The NHTSA won’t push it through and they won’t say why. On ten or more occasions, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that the NHTSA require forward crash avoidance and mitigation systems (automatic emergency braking) on all heavy trucks. After two decades, the NHTSA has still failed to act. If they had responded when the technology was first available, many of the crashes never would have happened. Some trucking companies have taken the leap and shelled out the additional cost of installing the optional equipment on their trucks. Others are more concerned about adding an additional cost of about $2,000 to the already high $150,000 price tag for new trucks. Democrats in Congress believe the surge in fatal truck accidents proves that now is the time to pick up the pace. But as long as Republicans object and retain majority control, adoption of a mandate isn’t likely. One representative of the NHTSA stated that they were currently studying the next-generation of automatic emergency braking technology. They expect the research to conclude in 18 to 24 months. At that time, they can use the information to decide on what steps to take next. But experts know that the technology is already available, and this is just a stalling technique. It’s the same technology used in passenger vehicles today. Also, it will be standard on all new passenger vehicles in the US by 2022. Some experts suggest that mandating the collision avoidance systems would prevent more than 7 of 10 rear-end truck collisions. In addition, it would lessen the severity of injuries in those crashes that still occurred. Right now, the only things stopping the technology from saving lives are the legislation to make it mandatory and the lack of action by Congress and the NHTSA. Some trucking companies don’t want to pay a couple of thousand extra dollars for their trucks. Without a law that makes it mandatory, they aren’t willing to invest any more than they have to. Considering the liability they incur when one of their trucks does cause an accident, the investment, in reality, is one they almost can’t afford to neglect. In comparison to the $1 million settlement received by Kelli Groves and her two daughters, some cases have resulted in much higher payouts. Although the truck driver was the only person killed in the crash, the Groves underwent extensive medical treatment and trauma from the event. In most cases, the trucking companies who own the trucks that cause fatal truck crashes are held partially or totally at-fault. Even when the truck driver causes the crash through distracted driving, drug use, or driver error, it is their employer’s responsibility to hire and train qualified drivers. Trucking companies are also expected to perform routine drug tests, inspect their vehicles, and perform maintenance as needed. When they are liable for lost lives and property, the price tag is going to far exceed a couple of thousand dollars. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a fatal truck crash, contact Berenson Injury Law. Bill Berenson has recovered millions of dollars for his clients and has thousands of happy clients. He is an experienced car and truck crash attorney who represents accident victims in Texas. Whether your case ends in a settlement or goes to trial, you can count on him to get the best outcome from your case. He will work tenaciously to pursue the maximum amount of compensation you need from all available sources. For more articles on this topic: Who Pays Your Damages After 18-Wheeler Crash? Dallas-Fort Worth Garbage Truck Accidents 18-Wheeler Drivers Taking Dangerous Opioid Drugs? DOT To Finally Test Four Defense Tactics Trucking Companies Use to Avoid Liability

A crash with a tractor-trailer or other commercially owned truck can often cause a person to suffer from a catastrophic injury and even death. Victims can sustain debilitating injuries that require a lifetime of medical care and physical therapy. Here is a photo from a I-35 crash where I have filed a lawsuit to collect my client's damages. The key to recovering compensation in a Texas trucking accident is proving negligence. You need to know who was at fault for causing your injuries. There are different people and companies who may be liable.

1. The truck driver 

In most big-rig accidents, the truck driver is at fault. Depending on their cargo, tractor trailers weigh tens of thousands of pounds. As a result, drivers need to be properly trained and supervised, alert, and alcohol and drug-free. These are their most common violations of federal and state law that I see: 

Garbage and recycling trucks are extremely dangerous to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. The combination of their giant construction, improper maintenance, and poor drivers can make them accidents waiting to happen. These behemoths have caused many deaths and serious injuries in our area. Just a few months ago, another person died in a Fort Worth collision with one. These vehicles are inherently dangerous for many reasons, especially their massive size. The average truck weighs over 60,000 pounds versus the average car's weight of 3,000 pounds. Garbage truck drivers must have a commercial drivers licenses and are held to a higher standard of care under transportation statutes. Unfortunately some fail to live up to the more vigorous rules. Waste management is an enormous $100 billion a year industry and clearly has the resources to insure that safe trucks and drivers are on the roads. Our law firm has handled all types of commercial truck collision cases in Dallas - Fort Worth for the past 37 years and understands their complexities. We are fighting for our clients in a substantial garbage truck case now and have successfully handled others in the past.
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