In the last couple of weeks there have been several fatal crashes involving 18-wheeler trucks on Texas highways. These accidents illustrate the dangers posed by large trucks on Texas roadways. While trucking is a necessary industry, large truck accidents are a significant cause of injury, economic damage and death every year in Texas. Read on for information about these accidents, and speak with a seasoned Houston, Texas truck accident lawyer if you’ve been injured in a Houston truck accident.
18-wheeler crashes on I-35, Lubbock as well
Around 2:50 a.m. on a recent Thursday, three 18-wheelers crashed into a large pileup on Interstate 35 between Waco and Temple. A 2018 International 18-wheeler slowed for unknown reasons on the freeway, causing another 2018 Freightliner 18-wheeler to slow as well. A 34-year-old Selma man was driving his 2018 Volvo 18-wheeler when he approached the Freightliner and was unable to slow in time. He struck the Freightliner, pushing it into the rear end of the first vehicle. The Selma man was not wearing his seat belt; he died at the scene. The drivers of the two other trucks were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-critical injuries.
Another crash involving a freight truck occurred the next afternoon in Lubbock, causing the death of two motorists. The semi-truck, hauling multiple trailers and carrying hazardous materials, crashed into a car near North Slide and Clovis Highway. The two occupants of the car, aged 23 and 21 years old, were killed in the crash, while the driver of the semi was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
Large truck crashes in Harris County and across Texas
Texas is a big state with big vehicles, and trucking is a common profession across the state. As we have previously discussed, large trucks pose unique dangers, and accidents involving big rigs are often fatal given the sheer mass of the trucks as well as the weight and nature of the cargo they are hauling. Texas has more truck crash fatalities than any other state in the country. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 559 fatal accidents statewide involving trucks and semi-trucks in 2017. In Harris County alone, Truck crashes caused 143 serious injuries in 2017, leading to 47 fatalities.
Traffic accidents across Texas cause financial loss, injury, and death to thousands of Texans every year. The Texas DOT estimated the total economic loss caused by motor vehicle crashes across the state, and the results are staggering: The DOT estimates that $38.4 billion in damage was caused by traffic accidents across Texas in 2017, nearly double the figures per year from 2003 through 2010. A seasoned traffic accident attorney can help ensure that those responsible are forced to compensate the people they injure for the harm they cause.
Safety experts offer a few tips to avoid truck accidents: Experts advise that other motorists stay out of truck blind spots wherever possible, avoid being tailgated by large trucks, accept and anticipate that big rigs will take longer to maneuver than your smaller vehicle and that you keep your car properly maintained to avoid breakdowns or other unexpected problems.
Crash involving a stalled tractor-trailer on Houston highway
The recent fatal crash occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 16, 2018. A 43-year-old man was driving his BMW on the Southwest Freeway heading south, near Harwin. The man was traveling at what members of the Houston Police Department called “highway speeds.” Tragically, the driver failed to notice that an 18-wheeler had stalled out in a middle lane on the other side of the Westpark Drive overpass. The BMW driver slammed into the rear of the stalled-out big rig, tearing the roof off the passenger vehicle. The driver of the car was killed almost instantly.
While the driver of the 18-wheeler claimed to have set out orange cones around the rear of his truck to indicate to drivers that the truck had stalled, lawyers for the victim’s family assert that eyewitnesses to the accident saw no cones around the truck. The family has already initiated legal action against the transportation companies believed to have been involved in operating the truck.
Underride accidents one of the many dangers posed by large trucks
Underride accidents occur when a passenger vehicle hits the front, side, or rear of a tractor-trailer and slides underneath the massive truck. These types of accidents often result in serious or fatal injuries for passenger vehicle occupants, since they tend to crush or shear off the passenger compartment of the smaller vehicle. Federal regulations state that large trucks must use a form of underride protection, such as a metal guard that prevents smaller cars from being able to slide underneath trucks. Nevertheless, many trucks use underride guards that are not strong enough to withstand high-speed impact; others simply fail to use underride guards altogether. When tractor-trailers fail to comply with federal laws regarding safety equipment such as underride guards, the transportation company may face liability for their failure to follow federal laws that could have prevented serious injuries to the victims.
Speak with an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Houston area truck accident, please contact Houston, Texas personal injury attorney Charles J. Argento. During a free initial consultation, we will evaluate your potential truck accident claim, as well as your options for obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and damages. As your Houston car accident lawyer, Mr. Argento accepts no legal fees until he recovers on your behalf.