Traffic accidents happen with some frequency. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT, a reportable crash occurs about every minute on Texas roadways, with an injury arising about every two minutes and death about every two and a half hours. The Houston area is a universal hub for truck traffic across the state and the country.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Truck accidents may be caused by human error, mechanical malfunction, weather or road conditions, or a combination of these factors. Truck drivers cause many accidents that occur. Some of the most common human errors include:
● Speeding: Speeding is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. When a truck travels too fast for conditions, it’s difficult to stop. Rear-end accidents are also common when the big rig is carrying a heavy load.
● Tailgating: Trucks need to keep a safe distance from the vehicles ahead. If they get too close, they could not stop quickly and might cause a crash. Rear-end collisions are among the most dangerous because they can cause severe and life-threatening injuries.
● Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a leading reason for human error crashes. Distractions include using a cell phone, eating, using GPS and other devices, and talking to passengers. By far, texting while driving is the most common distracted driving.
● Fatigue: Truck drivers must rest for a while between shifts and can only be on the road for a certain length of time without rest. Failing to follow the rules could cause a driver to become fatigued. Fatigue could cause a driver to be less responsive, and the driver might fall asleep.
● Aggressive Driving: Aggressive driving is becoming more problematic in our society. Drivers under pressure or who are facing other problems might be more susceptible to aggressive driving.
● Inexperience: Although truck drivers must complete training courses before they can obtain their license, many new truck drivers do not have enough experience behind the wheel. When a problem occurs, an inexperienced truck driver is more likely to make mistakes that can lead to severe accidents.
Commercial Truck Driver Requirements
Commercial truck drivers must obtain a Texas Commercial Driver’s License, CDL, to be eligible to drive an 18-wheeler. CDL drivers must take special training classes to prepare for driving a commercial vehicle. There are many options for a CDL in Texas. There are four classes of CDL licenses, including Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D. Class A allows drivers to operate a vehicle over 26,000 pounds. A Class B permit allows the driver to operate a bus with up to 24 passengers. A Class C permit allows the driver to operate vehicles that do not belong to Class A or B and or that carry hazardous materials.
Also, the driver must have special endorsements for transporting various types of materials. Most endorsements require drivers to pass knowledge and road driving tests. Also, drivers may operate interstate or intrastate, depending on their type of license.
Truck drivers must pass the meet the medical requirements, and the owner must have adequate insurance on the truck. Truck drivers must be at least 21 years of age and have a valid passenger vehicle driver’s license. Many trucking firms have additional requirements for their drivers. Trucking companies ensure that their drivers have the proper license and certification before they get behind the wheel.
If a truck driver causes an accident due to negligence, he might be responsible for the crash. You may be owed compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, money for pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
If you were hurt in a truck accident, do not delay. Contact our experienced 18-wheeler attorneys in Houston for a no-cost injury case consultation. Call (281) 893-0760!