Though crucial to transporting the nation’s goods, 18-wheeler trucks can be incredibly dangerous due to their immense size and weight. As a result, when they are involved in accidents, they can cause several significant injuries. Understanding how 18-wheeler accidents happen can help you stay safe on the road. Keep reading to learn why these accidents can happen, why they pose unique dangers, and how a Houston truck accident lawyer can help you through the process of filing a lawsuit and getting justice for the injuries you’ve sustained.
What Can Cause 18-Wheeler Accidents?
There are a number of reasons that an 18-wheeler can be involved in an accident. Unfortunately, the most common cause is driver error. Many drivers fall susceptible to distractions while on the road for long periods of time, such as texting, daydreaming, eating, and trying to adjust the radio or music. As a result, these drivers do not have their undivided attention on the road and can miss critical signs. These signs inform a driver when there is a blind curve coming up or that they must shift into a lower gear to prepare for an upcoming hill.
However, drivers are not the only party that can be held liable for an accident. If a shipping company improperly loads cargo into the trailer, such as failing to properly secure it or overloading the truck, they can be held liable for any damage that occurs as a result. When a truck is overloaded or the cargo is not secured correctly, the truck requires more distance to stop or becomes imbalanced, which can lead to an accident.
Finally, the company responsible for hiring the driver and maintaining the trucks can also be found liable for accidents that occur if they played a role in creating dangerous driving conditions. Unfortunately, many drivers’ employers force them to work extra hours and disregard the Hours of Service rules dictating how many hours a driver can travel and how much rest time they need to return to the road. Because they are not getting the proper rest time, this can lead to accidents. Similarly, if a trucking company does not perform the necessary routine maintenance on vehicles, it can cause unnecessary accidents.
Why Are They So Dangerous?
As previously mentioned, accidents involving 18-wheelers pose unique dangers due to their immense size and weight. Unlike other vehicles, these trucks can decimate cars when they collide.
Similarly, due to the design of these trucks, they are subjected to something known as “jackknifing.” If an 18-wheeler stops suddenly, the cabin portion of the vehicle will continue straight while the trailer drifts to the side, creating an L shape. This can cause damage across multiple lanes of traffic.
When injured by a negligent truck driver or shipping company, you may not know where to turn for help. Luckily, the Gonzalez Law Group is ready to represent you. Our dedicated legal team will work tirelessly to fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you.