San Antonio Truck Accident Attorney
Semi-truck accidents are among the deadliest on the road, and it’s not difficult to figure out why. Big rigs can weigh in at 80,000 pounds, far more than other vehicles, and they cut imposing figures on our highways and byways. This size differential alone is enough to spell disaster whenever an 18-wheeler is involved in a car accident. It’s always in your best interests to allow semi-trucks the extra space and time they need to maneuver safely on our roads.
Federal and State Trucking Regulations
Because of the potential for extremely serious accidents, both Texas and the federal government heavily regulate the trucking industry to help mitigate the danger. These regulations cover:
- Commercial drivers' licensing standards
- Commercial drivers' use of controlled substances and alcohol—and testing for this use
- Safety and health standards for both commercial drivers and trucking companies
- Transportation of hazardous materials
If you were injured in a semi-truck accident, you know how harrowing that is—and you need skilled legal counsel. The experienced semi-truck accident attorneys at The Law Offices of George Salinas in San Antonio have the knowledge and dedication to help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
Semi-Truck Accident Statistics
More and more trucks are employed to help keep up with the exploding demand for consumer goods. With the proliferation of semi-trucks, however, comes some alarming statistics related to truck accidents:
In a semi-truck accident, the driver and passengers in the other vehicle are far more likely to die than the truck driver—in 2015, 97 percent of fatalities in large truck accidents were people in the other vehicles).
- Nationwide, nearly 4,000 people died in big-rig accidents in 2015.
- The number of fatalities in 2015 truck accidents was up 22 percent from 2009 (when fatalities were at their lowest).
- Eleven percent of all traffic fatalities in 2015 involved a large truck.
These sobering statistics are a good reminder that drivers need to execute extreme caution when they share the road with big rigs.
The three crucial elements to safety—truckers, truck maintenance, and trucking companies—are so integral to keeping our highways and byways safe that they’re worth examining further.
Truckers man their giant beasts of the road. Healthy, well-rested, experienced, alert, and engaged commercial truck drivers are the first line of defense when it comes to safety. Truckers are responsible for maneuvering giant cargo containers down our roads at great speeds and for extended periods of time. In fact, truckers often encounter unreasonable deadlines that can hurt their abilities to make their livings. Furthermore, the trucking occupation is, by definition, highly sedentary, which means that it’s not conducive to healthy lifestyles or to healthy truckers. Couple truckers’ high-stress schedules with their unhealthy lifestyles, and the risk factors related to accidents escalate.
Well-maintained trucks in safe operating condition via regular and rigorous checking systems (as mandated by law) are the second necessity. Semi-trucks consist of many moving parts, and therefore have plenty of opportunities to break down, malfunction, or otherwise cause dangerous driving conditions. Several tractor-trailer components are commonly associated with accidents:
• Tires - Tires are the point of connection with the road for every vehicle, and are obviously critical to safe driving. A defective tire can make controlling a semi-truck difficult and lead to serious safety hazards.
• Brakes - Good, strong working brakes are obviously crucial to safe driving. Semi-trucks have extremely complicated braking systems that require a strict maintenance regimen.
• Coupling devices - Coupling devices connect trailers to their cabs. Any malfunction or defect in these elemental devices can lead to deadly accidents. Thorough and regular inspections are a necessity.
Well-managed trucking companies that make safety their top priority are the final safety element. The trucking company is responsible for the safe working condition of its trucks. This includes the responsibility for incorporating a comprehensive system of safety checks regarding the maintenance of those trucks.
Trucking companies and truckers ultimately share responsibility for maintaining safe, roadworthy semi-trucks with:
- Semi manufacturers
- Semi parts manufacturers
- Semi mechanics
Semi-truck accidents are extremely dangerous, and a host of factors can contribute to them:
Center of gravity. In truck accidents, center-of-gravity issues can play a decisive role. Whether a semi-truck was improperly loaded (often because of a timesaving shortcut) or its very design is flawed, center-of-gravity issues can lead to rollovers and exacerbate the potential for unchecked damage in big-rig accidents.
Blind spots. Enormous commercial trucks have considerably larger and more numerous blind spots, or no zones, than cars. No zones limit the trucker’s ability to clearly view the road around the truck, and they often play roles in accidents. All big rigs have blind spots, but the design of some trucks worsens the problem.
Truck design. The design of a truck and its trailer height can prove deadly for much smaller vehicles that come into physical contact with it. Dangerously high trailer designs can intensify the risk of deadly underride accidents.
If You Were Injured in a Truck Accident, Contact a Skilled San Antonio Semi-Truck Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a semi accident, you are no doubt traumatized. The skilled truck accident lawyers at The Law Offices of George Salinas know you are going through a difficult time, and we’re here to help. We have the experience, dedication, and compassion to aggressively advocate for your rightful compensation. Please contact or call us at (210) 225-0909 to schedule an appointment today.
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