As one of the largest cities in the U.S., Houston is booming. As the city has grown, so has its traffic. With the amount of truck traffic, there has been an increased number of truck accidents.
The Houston Chronicle has reported that Houston is one of the deadliest places to be on the road in the United States. According to the American Transportation Research Institute, Houston is high on the Top Truck Bottleneck list for the worst freeway bottlenecks for truck drivers.
Commercial trucks have larger blind spots and take longer to accelerate and decelerate than passenger vehicles do. They are also more difficult to maneuver and are prone to jack-knifing and overturning. Combine the inherent hazards posed by these large trucks with Houston’s traffic problems, and severe or catastrophic injury accidents can occur.
To protect yourself and those you love, read more on the causes of crashes and some safe driving tips.
Common Causes of Houston Truck Accidents
Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Poor driver training
- Inadequate truck maintenance
- Distracted driving
- Alcohol or drug use
- Speeding or driving aggressively
Truck drivers could be solely responsible for the crash, or other parties could share responsibility. The trucking company that hired the driver could be responsible for negligent hiring, training, or supervision, for example – even if the trucker was an independent contractor. If the trucker was an employee, the trucking company should be liable for the trucker’s actions.
The company that was responsible for maintaining the truck could also share liability for the crash, as could a cargo loader, truck owner, trailer owner, manufacturer of a defective truck part, and many others. That’s why it is vital to hire an experienced Houston truck accident attorney to help you identify all the potentially liable parties.
Safety Tips for Truck Drivers
If you’re a truck driver, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has some handy trucker safety tips that you can review to keep yourself and others safe on the road. To avoid an accident, it is recommended that you:
- Complete pre-trip safety inspections before each drive.
- Sit in a comfortable position and don’t forget to buckle up.
- Remain vigilant at all times.
- Check your mirrors for vehicles moving into your blind spots every 8-10 seconds.
- Know when to drive slowly, particularly for weather or road conditions.
- Observe work and school zones.
- Avoid distractions like your smartphone, stereo, and others.
Safety Tips for Driving Near Trucks
Each one of us has a duty to exercise care and caution when behind the wheel. To do your part and be safe while driving near trucks, keep these helpful tips in mind:
- Pass with caution. After you pass, make sure that you can see the entire truck in your rearview mirror before moving back into the lane. Try avoid passing a truck on its right side.
- Never cut in front of a truck. These vehicles need twice as much time and distance to brake than passenger vehicles. Try to leave four vehicle lengths between your vehicle and the truck so they’ll have adequate time to avoid hitting you if traffic slows or stops suddenly.
- Stay out of the truck’s “No-Zone.” There are four large blind spots where vehicles can disappear from the truck driver’s sight. Avoid driving in these areas as much as possible.
- Do not tailgate. You’ll should leave at least 20 to 25 car lengths between yourself and the back of the truck’s trailer. If you follow too closely and the truck comes to a sudden stop, you might not be able to avoid hitting them if you’re any closer. The truck’s bumper is often metal (and not impact-absorbing), and will likely not align with the bumper of your car.
How Can Tate Law Offices, P.C., Help Me?
The Houston truck accident lawyers of Tate Law Offices, P.C., hope you drive safely, and that you never need a truck accident lawyer. But if you are injured, we can help.
Contact us by phone, chat with us live, or fill out a contact form to schedule a free consultation with us. We won’t charge you anything unless and until we win compensation for you.