We have too many commercial vehicle collisions in the DFW area
In the past few weeks, a tractor trailer loaded with frozen food ended up on its side after an early morning crash along Interstate 635 in North Dallas. Another 18-wheeler crashed into a dump truck and scattered cargo across a highway in Fort Worth. These commercial truck crashes — and many others — happened late at night. We are thankful that no one was hurt in these two crashes, as they often cause severe or even fatal outcomes.
Here’s a photo where our client was seriously injured in a tractor-trailer crash at night. We believe these should never happen or happen a lot less often.
What causes them and what should you do if you are unfortunately involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer or other large truck at night?
Causes of truck collisions at night
In addition to the usual speeding, tailgating, improper lane changes, and improper lookout, causes include the following:
- Medical conditions and illnesses;
- Night blindness;
- Alcohol or drugs;
- Improper weight distribution and tie-down of cargo; and
- Mechanical problems in cab or trailer
We see the first two causes most often.
Distractions are a major problem for all drivers these days. Even a few seconds looking down at a cell phone or reaching for a soft drink – our law firm has handled several of each of these — could cause a trucker to stray outside of his lane and strike a vehicle next to or in front of him. We have a new client who was rear ended while stopped on the shoulder.
Federal regulations limit the number of hours a trucker can drive. Truckers can drive no more than 60 hours over seven consecutive days. They can be on-duty for up to 14 hours at a time, but only if they have just come off 10 hours off duty and only if they drive no more than 11 of those 14 hours. Even with those regulations, it is possible for a truck driver to experience exhaustion, sleepiness and fatigue, especially if that driver is driving late at night or in the predawn early morning hours.
Other causes can lead to these collisions. Mechanical issues sometimes contribute to a crash, for example, a truck’s headlights not putting out enough light or the brakes not being adjusted.
Critical evidence needed
If you are hurt in a collision with a commercial truck, you need to move fast. There are important documents and evidence that can make or break your case. They include
- Police accident reports and notes
- The trucker’s log books (now electronic)
- Witness statements
- Photographs and video of the crash scene, vehicles, injuries, and witnesses
- Black box downloads
- Truck inspection by an accident reconstruction expert
- Maintenance records showing prior problems or the lack of maintenance
This evidence can help you and your personal injury lawyer prove that a driver was driving erratically, was distracted or fatigued, that his truck was not maintained or inspected properly, or other reasons why the truck driver and his company are at fault.
Berenson Injury Law is here to help you if you have been injured in a truck accident.
BIL is based in Fort Worth and handles cases across Texas and in other states. We have been handling a wide range of truck accident cases for nearly four decades.
Berenson Injury Law specializes in only one area of the law: helping people who have been injured in car and truck crashes.
For your free case review, contact us today at 1-888-801-8585 or email us online.