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What’s My 18 Wheeler Accident Case Worth?

 

Value of a trucking accident

What’s my case worth is one of the more frequent questions we get in our 18 wheeler accident law firm?

 

At the outset, let me say that is almost impossible for an attorney to give a value on a case before a complete investigation has been done and all of the medical records and bills have been reviewed with a fine tooth comb.

 

It is true that commercial vehicle accidents involve much higher numbers than a typical car to car crash. There are many reasons for this phenomenon, the main ones being that trucking companies carry commercial insurance policies and 80,000-pound vehicles tend to create more severe injuries.

 

There are many factors that can influence the value of a personal injury claim stemming from an 18 wheeler crash. Here are a few of the main ones.

 

 

Factors That Influence the Value of a Trucking Accident Injury Claim

 

 

Cause of the Wreck

 

How the crash occurred, can have an impact on the value of the case even when the other driver receives a ticket. Texas is a mutual responsibility state meaning that if someone is found partially at fault, their monetary damages are reduced by the judge by their percentage of fault. If the party is more than 51% at fault, in Texas they are precluded from recovering damages.

 

Therefore, the accident factors need to be analyzed even when one person get a ticket.

 

Trucking companies all carry commercial insurance policies and are very quick to defend claims made against them even those that are crystal clear liability wise. Early investigation of a trucking accident is always a good plan.

 

 

Medical Treatment

 

Aside from liability, one of the biggest factors in a trucking accident case is the medical help received by the injured person. What a qualified doctor has to say in the medical records goes a long way toward establishing the human damages from a trucking accident.

 

Lapses in treatment and the specific medical providers involved also can have an impact on the value of the case. Juries tend to undervalue the testimony and opinions of chiropractors yet take specialist such as orthopedic doctors which more seriously.

 

Along those lines, what your medical doctor has to say about your injuries, diagnosis, and prognosis for the future are critical in valuing a case.

 

 

Severity of Impact

 

The severity of the impact is another factor that can affect the value of the case. If the crash looked to be a minor fender bender, it is more difficult to prosecute than one where the jury can look at a photograph and say while they’re lucky to be alive.

 

For this reason, if you are involved in an 18 wheeler accident, getting photographs before your vehicle is totaled or repaired usually is a good idea.

 

Preexisting Injuries

 

If you have injured the same area previously or have had problems with the same part of your body in the past, this can affect the value of the case. Some defense doctors will always opine that the injured person had a pre-existing spine condition. Some injuries are more susceptible to this type of defense than others.

 

It is important to note that even if you have had a pre-existing condition if the crash aggravated the condition such that further medical treatment was necessary you still may have a case.

 

 

Your Legal History

 

Your legal history can also have an impact on the value of the case. If you’ve had previous personal injury claims, they may or may not come into evidence in a case. If you have had trouble with the law that also may be admissible in court.

 

It is important when speaking to your attorney that you make them aware of your complete legal history.

 

 

The Value of Your Attorney

 

It is a simple fact that insurance companies do not treat unrepresented claimants the same as those who have an experienced and qualified attorney. Insurance companies are in the business of making profits and the less they pay you for your case, the better off they are.

 

Insurance companies do not want you to retain an attorney because they know they will end up having to pay real value for the claim and if the case does not settle, a jury can resolve the matter.

 

Who your attorney is also matters.  Insurance companies retain records on each attorney when evaluating the value of the case.

 

Highly rated attorneys with substantial trucking accident experience are taken much more seriously than attorneys that “need the money.”

 

We advise personal injury victims to research the attorneys they consider before signing any paperwork.

 

Holding Parties Responsible for 18-Wheeler Wide Turn Truck Wrecks

 

wide truck truck accident

Each year, thousands of people across the United States are seriously injured in accidents with 18-wheeler trucks. This includes innocent motorists across the state of Texas who end up injured or killed, as the result of collisions with 18-wheelers.

 

There are some relatively common causes of 18-wheeler truck wrecks in Texas, and elsewhere in the United States. One of the more common types of big rig accidents stems from driver negligence associated with wide turns made by a semi-truck or tractor-trailer. Inexperienced drivers are especially likely to be involved in a wide turn truck accident.

 

If you have been in an 18-wheeler wide turn wreck, there are some important matters you need to bear in mind when it comes to your legal rights. You need to understand how to protect your vital interests in the aftermath of an 18-wheeler wide turn wreck.

 

The Squeeze Play

 

One of the recurring types of accidents resulting from an 18-wheeler wide turn commonly is referred to as the “squeeze play.” A squeeze play accident occurs when an automobile ends up on the inside of big rig’s turning maneuver. As the truck completes the turn, the trapped automobile can end up being crushed by the trailer. This scenario can end in the death or serious injury of a person in the trapped automobile.

 

The squeeze play situation develops when the 18-wheeler operator has failed to pay proper attention to vehicles around the big rig at the time a turn is commenced. The driver and passengers of the trapped auto end up literally at the will of the semi driver. If the big rig operator never realizes the presence of the automobile, a true catastrophe can occur.

 

The Swinging Turn

 

Another of the common types of 18-wheeler wide turn wrecks is called the “swinging turn.” With a swinging turn, the rear of a trailer can end up into the lane of oncoming traffic in an instant as a turn to the right is being negotiated by a rig operator. Because the movement of oncoming traffic can happen in a beat, oncoming motorists can be put into peril.

 

Identifying All Negligent Parties

 

18-wheeler wide turn wrecks nearly always occur because of the negligence of the truck driver. The operator is not paying proper attention to his or her surroundings when he or she commences a turn.

 

There are instances in which a mechanical issue can exaggerate a turn, resulting in the truck manufacturer or parts supplier also being at fault in a wide turn wreck.

 

The owner of the truck or trucking company will nearly always be a party, in addition to the rig operator, through the legal theory of agency or employer- employee relationship know as respondent superior.

 

Agency holds an employer responsible for the negligence of an employee when the conduct of the worker occurs within the course and scope of the employer’s business.

 

Contact Experienced Trucking Accident Attorneys

 

Call our Houston trucking accident attorneys for a NO obligation consultation on your rights and options.  If we accept your case, we charge no fee unless we put money in your pocket.

Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries

 

18 wheeler accidents common injuries

The collision between a passenger automobile and a large truck, or big rig, can have truly catastrophic consequences.

Every day, motorists across the United States see their lives change dramatically as the result of accidents with semi-trucks, or 18-wheelers. Some types of injuries occur with shocking regularity in truck accidents.

Head and Brain Injuries

Trauma to a person’s head as the result of a truck accident can cause severe, life-altering injuries. The stark reality of many big rig truck accidents each year on roadways in Texas, and across the United States, is that injured individuals will never be the same after these collisions.

Every year, innocent motorists sustain traumatic injuries in truck accidents that result in a tragic loss of motor and cognitive functions.

A person involved in a tractor trailer accident must understand that traumatic brain injuries may not be immediately visible or apparent.

Consulting a medical professional following an accident should be a primary objective for a truck wreck victim.

Back and Neck Injuries

Back and neck injuries represent some of the most common types of damages following an accident involving a semi-truck or big rig.

These types of injuries run a broad spectrum from those that result in a minor back or neck pain to severe injuries that prove debilitating. Even less severe back and neck injuries can preclude a person from returning to work or to routine activities associated with daily living for what can prove to be an extended period.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are also relatively commonplace following a truck accident. As is the case with some types of traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage is not always initially diagnosed underscoring the need for a medical evaluation by an appropriate professional.

A spinal cord injury can have devastating consequences. This type of injury can result in paralysis and permanent disability.

Further, most emergency rooms only conduct x-rays at the facility, unless an extreme injury is suspected. It usually takes an MRI to diagnose a herniated disc.

Broken Bones

In many accidents involving an automobile and a much larger commercial truck, broken bones occur. Broken bones occur at a much higher rate when a large truck participates in a car accident, because of the disproportionate size and power of a big rig.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries frequently occur in truck accidents. Indeed, the impact between a large truck and another vehicle can result in massive, life-threatening internal injuries. Indeed, the reality is that no internal organ is immune from the potential for profound damage in a commercial truck accident.

Truck Accidents and Wrongful Death Claims

An accident involving a commercial truck and a passenger car is 10-times more likely to result in the death of the driver or another occupant of the automobile than is the case of a collision between two standard autos.

In 2015, over 4,300 large trucks (and buses) were involved fatal accidents. The clear majority of these crashes involved big rigs.

Sources:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2015

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/basics/definition/CON-20029302

 

 

How Effective are Roadside Inspections of Commercial Trucks?

 

 

Commercial trucks, also known as tractor-trailers, semi-trailers, 18-wheelers, and big rigs, make up just over 12% of the vehicles lawfully registered to operate on roadways across the United States. Two states, Texas and California, have the largest number of big rigs routinely traversing their roadways when contrasted with all U.S. states.

 

The number of commercial trucks on U.S. roadways increased significantly over the past decade. Over 70% of all freight transported in the United States is on a commercial truck.

 

Safety Standards and Big Rigs

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, (FMCSA), is the federal governmental agency that establishes safety standards and regulations for tractor-trailers. Compliance with these regulations is the responsibility of inspectors on both the federal and state level. Most inspections are done by state inspectors. These inspections often occur on the roadside.

 

Commercial Truck Inspection Frequency

 

The inspection of commercial trucks operating on U.S. roadways is not uniform. By this, it is meant that there is something of a hit and miss aspect to roadside inspections. The safety of semi-trucks is not consistent in the United States.

 

Approximately 3.5 million safety inspections occur annually. This total includes counts of commercial trucks that get inspected multiple times.

 

Safety Inspection Result Statistics

 

20% of all tractor-trailers inspected in the United States receive what are called out-of-work service orders. What this means is the inspected vehicle must be taken immediately out of operation until the safety issue is corrected.

 

What this alarming statistic means is that, at any moment in time, at least one in five trucks rolling across U.S. roadways is in such an unsafe condition that if inspected, the vehicle would be placed “out of service.”

 

Keep in mind that about 3.5 million inspections occur annually. Out of that number, 3.8 violations of all types were issued in the last year a full set of statistics are available. Therefore, nearly every vehicle has at least a minor safety problem, while many vehicles have multiple violations.

 

A Failing System

 

Many industry experts believe that the current roadside inspection system is failing. The process is not consistently screening vehicles or drivers. As noted, the system results in at least 20% of commercial trucks being unsafe to operate at any moment in time. This leads to many unnecessary big rig accidents.

 

These industry experts argue that an overhaul of the inspection system must occur to develop a more proactive commercial truck safety system to protect the welfare of other motorists in the United States.

 

Sources:

http://www.pressconnects.com/story/news/local/watchdog/2017/04/06/dangerous-tractor-trailer-truck-drivers-violations-nhtsa/100016810/

 

http://www.trucking.org/News_and_Information_Reports_Industry_Data.aspx

 

An Overview of Large Truck Accident and Collision Statistics

 

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines a “large truck,” also known as a semi-truck or big rig, as being a truck that has a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or more. A truck of this nature can carry a load that weights upwards to an additional 70,000 more without obtaining special clearance. The average automobile clocks in at 2,000 pounds. Looking at weight alone, a car is no match for an empty large truck, let alone one that is carrying a load.

 

With these basic facts in mind, a motorist is well-served having an awareness of essential statistics related to large truck, or big rig, accidents. The FMCSA maintains data regarding semi-truck accidents in the United States. 2015 is the last year for which the governmental agency has collected and analyzed a complete set of statistics for a 12-month period.

 

Overall Large Truck Accident Statistics

 

Across the United States, about 415,000 large truck accidents were reported to police in 2015. During the same time period, a total of just over 24,200 large truck accidents were reported in the state of Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Virtually all semi-truck accidents in the United States, including Texas, involve a collision with a passenger car.

 

Large Truck Accident Fatality Statistics

 

There were 3,598 fatal large truck accidents in the United States in 2015. Some of these accidents resulted in multiple fatalities. Deaths were nearly always attributed to drivers and passengers in automobiles. Big rig drivers rarely are killed in collisions with passenger cars.

 

428 fatal large truck accidents occurred in Texas during the same time period. As is the case nationally, some of these collisions involved multiple fatalities. Big rig drivers were rarely killed in large truck and passenger automobile collisions.

 

Big Rig Accident Injury Rates

 

80,000 large truck accidents across the country resulted in injuries. In a majority of accidents, the injuries sustained were serious and required hospitalization. Although big rig drivers were injured in accidents, automobile drivers and passengers nearly always sustained far more serious injuries in collisions with large trucks.

 

810 motorists in Texas required hospitalization for serious injuries following big rig accidents. 2,221 individuals sustained less serious injuries, including those that did go to a hospital emergency department but did not require anything beyond an overnight stay in a medical center. Almost 3,100 people may have sustained injuries, but declined immediate medical treatment or assistance.

 

To speak  with a big rig accident injury attorney in Houston, call us at 281-893-0760 for a no obligation consultation on your rights and options.

 

Sources:

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2015

 

http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2015/27.pdf

What You Need to Know About Damages in Houston Trucking Accident Cases

 

Commercial vehicles are subject to special safety rules because of the potential for a semi-truck to cause life-threatening and fatal injuries during a crash. Big rigs routinely weigh up to 80,000 pounds and have safety issues such as blind spots and slow to stop.

 

People injured because of the carelessness of a professional truck driver who was driving a tractor-trailer, garbage truck or other commercial vehicle may be able to obtain certain legally recognized damages under Texas law.

 

There are three types of damages legally available to those who have been injured by a negligent trucker. Those are economic damages, human damages, and exemplary damages.

 

Economic Damages After a Big Rig Injury Crash

 

Economic damages are those sustained by the victim that relate to the medical treatment that is necessary for the injuries caused by the accident and also the losses related to earning capacity which is often mistakenly called “lost wages.”

 

Texas instituted “tort reform” several years ago that changed the calculation of both reasonable and necessary medical expenses and also the losses related to earning capacity. These changes were not helpful to Texas families and did not result in reduced medical or insurance costs.

 

Economic damages are submitted to a judge or jury in separate and distinct time lines. The periods before the date of the verdict and future damages that may occur after the verdict. An example would be if a victim of the truck crash were expected to incur necessary medical bills in the future, the jury would be asked to determine what that number should be for the future.

Often, truck accident lawyers use life care planners to value future medical needs of a victim.

 

 

Human Damages Because of a Semi-Truck Injury Wreck

 

Human damages are those that directly affect the person and can vary greatly depending on the judge or jury that decides the numbers and impact on the victim’s life.  This type of damage is hard to estimate because it is up to a jury to decide what should be awarded for each damage element. The victim, their family, and doctors or other medical providers can testify about the impact of the injuries on the victim, but it is up to the finder of fact to determine the amounts.

 

Legally recoverable human damages in Texas can include the following:

 

  • Physical Impairment before trial
  • Physical Impairment that will in reasonable probability be sustained in the future
  • Disfigurement before trial
  • Disfigurement after trial
  • Physical Pain and Mental Anguish before trial
  • Physical Pain and Mental Anguish in the future

 

Additionally, other damages may be available such as those to a spouse when the husband or wife has been seriously injured. In some cases, spouses can obtain damages for the loss of household services and also the loss of consortium both past and future.

 

About Exemplary Damages from Trucking Accidents

 

Finally, exemplary damages in Texas may be awarded in cases where the truck driver or the trucking company has acted maliciously or with gross negligence for the safety of the motoring public, or their truck driver. The factors that are considered by the judge or jury include:

 

  • The nature of the wrong.
  • The character of the conduct involved.
  • The degree of culpability of the wrongdoer.
  • The situation and sensibilities of the parties concerned.
  • The extent to which conduct offends a public sense of justice and propriety.
  • The net worth of the defendant.

 

Punitive damages in trucking accident cases must include more than simple driver error to be submitted to the court. Further, the jury must unanimously agree on the award and amount of exemplary damages. Texas law limits the amount of recovery available for punitive damages to the greater of:

  • two times the economic damages; plus,
  • an amount equal to any human damages (non-economic) not to exceed $750,000; or
  •  $200,000.

 

 

Contact a Houston 18 Wheeler Accident Attorney to Discuss Your Case

 

If you or a family member have been seriously injured in an 18 wheeler accident, and are looking for an attorney for an 18 wheeler accident near Houston, call for a no obligation consultation regarding your rights and options. We charge no fee unless we recover money for you. Additionally, home and hospital consultations are available for those who are unable to travel to our offices because of your injuries.

 

(281) 890-0760

 

 

Other sources: http://law.justia.com/codes/texas/2005/cp/002.00.000041.00.html

Who is Responsible for an 18 Wheeler Wreck?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each person or entity who has a role in a truck crash depends on the specific facts of each accident. While each crash is unique, after investigation, who can be held legally responsible for causing a crash can be predictably determined.

 

The following may have responsibility in an 18 wheeler accident:

 

  • The driver
  • The motor carrier, (Trucking Company)
  • The maintenance providers
  • The owner of the tractor or trailer
  • Persons or entities that load the rig
  • Manufacturer of the tractor or trailer
  • Manufacturer of parts such as tires
  • Other motorists involved in the crash

 

 

Early Investigation is Helpful to Identify Responsible Parties

 

The importance of an early investigation of a serious injury or wrongful death truck crash cannot be overstated. Only after conducting an investigation can an experienced attorney have a game plan for moving forward on the case. Not only can an early investigation help in identifying potentially responsible parties but it can also uncover facts that make liability much clearer for some of the parties.

 

While exemplary damages or punitive damages are the exceptions rather than the rule in trucking accident litigation, many times the black box data or the condition of the tractor or trailer itself can lead to the potential of making a credible punitive damage claim.

 

Insurance companies for trucking companies have become very sophisticated in their defense of these commercial cases. One of the strategies that have been increasingly employed is the company tries to put the tractor-trailer back in service as quickly as possible thus precluding the injured person or their family from collecting necessary information regarding the truck. If the tractor or trailer had bad brakes, or other deficiencies only an inspection can reveal that condition.

 

The Trucking Company May Have Responsibility for its Driver Even If He Is Not an Employee

 

Under general legal principles the trucking company as legal responsibility for its driver who was on the job and in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the crash. Additionally, the trucking company (Motor Carrier), has an independent responsibility to implement safety policies by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

 

 

If the Driver Leases the Rig from the Company.

 

Section 376.12 FMCSR makes clear that the company must retain exclusive possession, use and control of the truck, making the “Motor Carrier”  liable for the damages caused by the operation of the big rig.

 

Statutory Employee

 

Trucking Companies have been held to be “statutory employers” and responsibly for the negligence of the driver even though the company does not own the rig, and does not technically employ the driver if the driver operates under an arrangement with the company which is subject to the FMCSA as an interstate carrier.

The Morris Case

 

In Morris v. JTM Materials, Inc., 78 SW3rd (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 2002, pet. filed), the court found an Interstate Motor Carrier has vicarious liability as a matter of law for the driver’s negligence as provided by the FMCSR.

 

 

Contact an Experienced Trucking Accident Attorney

 

The first step after an accident where you have been injured by an 18 wheeler is to research and contact the best 18 wheeler accident attorney you can find. It is important that you select an attorney who has the time to devote to your case and the experience necessary to achieve the best possible results. You do not want your case handled by a paralegal or by an inexperienced associate attorney.

 

Contact us for a free no obligation consultation regarding your rights and options after being injured by an 18 wheeler.

(281) 893-0760

 

 

 

 

 

What Commercial Truck Drivers Know That You Don’t?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
According to the American Trucking Association, there are approximately 3 1/2 million professional truck drivers in the United States alone.

 

Driving down any highway in America and you are bound to see 18 wheelers virtually everywhere. The main interstate highways have the highest percentage of commercial vehicles traveling in ratio to other traffic.

 

There is a list of things that professional truck drivers know that you may not:

1. Big Rigs Have Blind Spots

 
Every tractor-trailer driver knows that they have areas in front, behind and on both sides of the rig where they are unable to see other motorists. This is especially true with smaller vehicles and leads to many blind spot accidents.

Motorists traveling around a tractor-trailer should be careful to stay out of the blind spots where the commercial truck driver may not know they are present.

 

2. 18-Wheelers Take Longer to Stop

 
Big rigs can take up to 40% more distance to stop than a passenger car or pickup truck. Adverse weather conditions or poor maintenance of the brakes can increase the stopping distance significantly. All drivers face a perception and reaction time that affects passenger cars and commercial drivers equally.

It is the braking distance of the semi-truck that makes leads to many reran truck crashes. After application of the brakes, and perfect conditions a big rig can take 216 feet to come to a complete stop when traveling only 55 miles an hour. Empty trucks require more stopping distance than those that are loaded.

If you have a big rig following closely behind you, consider speeding up or allowing the truck to pass you to reduce the chances of a sudden stop causing a truck wreck.

3. Rarely Are Truck Drivers Injured in a Wreck with an Automobile

 

 

Because a big rig can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and a passenger car typically weighs 5000 pounds or less, physics dictates the big rig wins, and the pastor car loses. Vehicles coming into direct contact with a tractor-trailer at highway speeds uniformly end up with serious injury and loss of life. Conversely, because the truck has such a weight and size advantage, the odds of the commercial truck driver being injured in a crash with a passenger car, barring rollover are relatively slim.

A person is injured or killed in a truck accident in the United States every 16 minutes. The DOT estimates that there are over a half 1 million truck accidents each and every year in the US.

 

4. Truck Drivers Are Held to a Higher Standard

 

Not only must truck drivers follow the rules of the road that applied to every motorist, but they must also follow the safety rules contained in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which regulate such things as ours that the trucker may drive vehicle maintenance, etc.

The safety regulations also cover such situations as driving in adverse conditions, safety checklist to ensure the safety of the big rig and requirements on the motor carrier for implementing safety policies for the driver and equipment.

 

5. Trucking Companies Are Required to Have Commercial Liability Policies

 

The truck safety regulations require the truck driver and the company to be covered by commercial liability insurance at the minimum of $750,000 and up depending upon the commodities carried.

 

In practice, larger trucking companies often have multiple layers of insurance with typically one million-dollar policy and with layers of excess above that base liability policy. It is not rare for trucking companies to have policies more than $5 million. With the increased potential for serious injury or fatal accident, the safety regulations require sufficient insurance coverage.

 

6. Most Companies Train Their Driver in What to Do or Not to Do After a Wreck

 

 

Most trucking companies have instituted procedures for their drivers to follow if they are involved in an injury accident. Handbooks and other training reflect the company’s desire that the truck driver not admit fault or give statements to third parties at the scene. Many also require photographs and intercompany forms to be filled out by the driver covering such details as the other parties involved, a short statement of what happened and any witnesses to the crash.

Larger companies may also have a “quick response team” that they dispatched to the scene of an accident shortly after they are notified of a potential liability problem.

 

Call attorney Greg Baumgartner for a consultation regarding your truck accident- Toll Free 1-866-758-4529.

Shortages of Drivers Causes More Truck Wrecks

 

 

 

 

 

Trucking Vital to US Economy

 

There is no doubt that the trucking industry is the lifeblood of our American economy. The proof is in the pudding, with over 70% of all freight transported throughout the United States arriving on big rigs. Tractor-trailers haul more than 10.5 billion tons of goods and freight each year.

The United States has over 11 million big rigs registered in the United States which is an increase of 3% over the prior year. One-half of all commercial truck drivers are hauling freight interstate and 15% or so intrastate.

 

Increasing Violations

 

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial truck drivers were cited over 320,000 times for violation related to duty status during roadside inspections. Fudging the duty status or failing to keep accurate logs is one of the most common safety violations by truck drivers. Additionally, the FMCSA indicates there were over 136,000 hours of service violations where truck drivers drove when they were prohibited from doing so by the safety regulations.

 

Shortage of Qualified Drivers

 

While the lack of truck drivers has been consistent at about 30,000 drivers over the last several years, industry analysts suspect that the driver shortage will reach between 50,000 to 100,000 per year. There are several reasons for the driver shortage one of them being the age of the existing drivers set at about 50 and younger drivers not finding the profession that attractive.

Turnover has been a big problem for the motor carrier as drivers find other vocations that may provide a better environment for time with the family. Trucking companies have struggled to find enough qualified drivers and are forced to accept a driver who may not be as professional and safe as the motor carrier would prefer. All one has to do is turn on the radio to hear many ads from trucking companies seeking drivers to understand the depth of the truck driver shortage.

Retiring truck drivers who are not easily replaced is probably the single largest factor in the shortage of drivers.

Many motor carriers are offering substantial incentives for the best truck drivers. Some of the bigger trucking companies in America boosted pay by $5000-$10,000 a year for some of the best drivers. The competition for highly qualified and safe drivers has never been fiercer.

 

Big Rig Crashes

 

Last year there were over 475,000 large trucks and buses involved in accidents. There is a direct correlation to the experience of a truck driver and the potential for a serious truck wreck. It is just common sense that the more experience a driver has behind the wheel with a tractor-trailer, the less likely the driver is to be unprepared on the roadway.

The number of injury crashes from big rigs as increased by over 55% from 2004 two 2014 according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Inexperienced drivers and new drivers are clearly the most dangerous truckers on the highways. Many truck drivers quit the profession after they have been in us very serious truck accident where someone else was seriously injured or killed. Controlling an 80,000-pound vehicle requires more than a commercial driver’s license and minimum safety training by a company.

 

Solutions to the Driver Shortage

 

There certainly has been a sustained increase in the freight shipped in the United States and the need for qualified truck drivers. One of the biggest problems besides the age of the drivers is the inability to attract younger drivers to stay in the profession.

Trucking companies are offering financial incentives. However, the increased pay and sign-on bonuses are insufficient to deal with the magnitude of the driver shortage. Increased flexibility and home time for drivers is a big factor in the satisfaction in the profession. There is no doubt that trucking can be a difficult lifestyle for families.

Technology advances will help trucking companies become more flexible with their drivers as long as the companies are willing to invest resources into the technology. Recent rule changes requiring electronic logging are a step in the right direction for motor carriers to embrace technology to reduce costs and improve safety.

Better communications are also proven to reduce aggravation for drivers and also improve on-time delivery.

 

Summary

 

In the United States, we face a serious truck driver shortage which has the effect of forcing Motor Carriers to hire lesser qualified drivers to fill positions. The shortage of qualified drivers is predicted to increase substantially shortly. Trucking companies are taking steps to attract higher quality drivers, but the problem for the industry remains a lack of drivers.

A correlation exists between the age, experience, and training of the truck driver and the likelihood of an accident. A new driver is much more likely to be involved in an unnecessary crash than an experienced driver.

 

Visit our The Woodlands, Conroe attorney for truck accident page.

 

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trucksdotcom/2016/05/23/a-glance-at-the-state-of-the-trucking-industry/#7c5c8dec3d84

 

http://www.npr.org/2015/12/14/459348786/trucking-shortage-drivers-aren-t-always-in-it-for-the-long-haul

http://www.trucking.org/ATA%20Docs/News%20and%20Information/Reports%20Trends%20and%20Statistics/10%206%2015%20ATAs%20Driver%20Shortage%20Report%202015.pdf

Harris County Has the Highest Commercial Vehicle Fatality Rate in Texas

 

Each year the state of Texas is required to collect and analyze crash data gathered by Texas officers when filling out crash data reports.

 

The data is helpful to authorities for planning purposes and anticipating safety needs within the state of Texas. Currently, the state of Texas retains ten years of data from the crash reports.

 

HIGH NUMBER OF COMMERCIAL VEHICLE WRECKS IN TEXAS

 

One of the areas analyzed by the state of Texas is the number of crashes that involved commercial vehicles and injuries by County. In 2015, there was 505 fatal commercial motor vehicle crashes in the state of Texas. In those accidents, 601 people died, 1522 people were seriously injured, and another 4640 people were listed with non-incapacitating injuries and another 4800 with possible injury.

 

 

HARRIS COUNTY LEADS TEXAS IN FATAL CRASHES

 

Overwhelmingly, Harris County had the highest number of fatal crashes, fatalities and serious injuries from a commercial vehicle wreck. In one year alone, 37 people died in Harris County from commercial vehicle crashes in 1678 people were injured or possibly injured in a truck accident.

 

Dallas County was second in fatal crashes and injuries followed by Travis County. Obviously, the denser the population, the more likely it is for a tractor-trailer crash.

 

In total, Texas had a traffic accident death toll of 3531 people in 2015 which was a very slight decrease in the number of deaths in 2014. There were also 13,616 serious injury crashes with over 17,000 people seriously injured. About one-half of the fatal crashes occurred in rural areas.

 

TRAFFIC CONGESTION A FACTOR

 

One of the areas of concern throughout the state of Texas is traffic congestion which leads to more accidents. The major metropolitan areas such as Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio are much more likely to have traffic problems which lead to unnecessary crashes.

 

Houston Commercial Vehicle Crash Attorney

 

Commercial vehicle accidents require speedy action on the part of the victims. Many trucking companies and their insurers seek to put the commercial vehicle back in service as quickly as possible often, voiding the black box data that may be available to help make the personal injury case.

 

Most injury truck accidents are caused by driver error or a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations or a combination of both. For a no obligation consultation with the go to truck wreck law firm in Houston call 281-893-0760 to discuss your truck wreck.

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Houston/Texas Truck Accident Lawyer-Greg Baumgartner

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