Truck Accidents | Sorey, Gilliland, & Hull, LLP
Cement trucks are a hazard on the roadways. With cement loads weighing up to 30,000 pounds, they rank among the heaviest, if not the largest, trucks. Their top-heavy design makes them prone to rollover, particularly when fully loaded with cement. Their weight makes them difficult to maneuver, and they require more stopping distance to avoid a crash. In a collision with a cement truck, passenger vehicle occupants are likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries.
The Permian Basin has become the breadbasket of the oil and gas industries in Texas, resulting in a massive fleet of trucks running each day throughout this region. Among these high-powered vehicles are frac sand trucks, which provide critical material to the various oil wells in Permian Basin and the Midland oilfields. This material is utilized in the fracking process, which has allowed the energy industry to access a large surplus of oil and gas, but it requires an equally large amount of sand. One well can consume roughly 50 million pounds of frac sand and would require a constant supply from trucking companies.
The job of a truck driver is a difficult one. They are required to drive for long periods of time, with no easy place to stop for a shower, or even to just go to the bathroom. A trucker can regularly work 70-hour weeks, and likely won’t see their home or family for days at a time. Taking that into consideration, is it any wonder that our country is facing a trucker shortage?
Unfortunately, that shortage could mean our roadways are becoming far more dangerous.
Because of their sheer size and weight, tractor trailers can cause serious injuries when they collide with passenger vehicles. Many truck accidents can be avoided when big rigs are operated by skilled drivers with proper training, rest, and focus, but poor road conditions can affect every type of driver and vehicle. The combination of hazardous roads and 18-wheelers can lead to catastrophic accidents.
In a recent year, over 4,100 people died in trucking accidents, and 86% of those that died were driving cars, riding motorcycles or bicycles, or walking. The reality is that large trucks are 20 to 30 times the size of an average passenger car, and when that mass is moving at 55 miles per hour and then collides with a vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian, it’s catastrophic. Every year, staggering numbers of deaths and injuries are the result of commercial truck accidents.
On January 8, 2020, 44-year-old Wajma Popal was killed in Reeves, Texas when her car was hit by a tractor-trailer. The crash, which involved three vehicles, occurred roughly 28 miles west of Balmorhea on Interstate 10, at approximately 1:15 p.m. The accident involved a head-on collision when the truck drifted across the center divide and struck Ms. Popal’s Nissan Altima. This resulted in the 18-wheeler rolling over and colliding with another tractor-trailer. Neither truck driver was injured. Wajma Popal died at the scene.
When you or a loved one are involved in a trucking accident, the moves you make next can help make or break your case and your ability to receive fair compensation. Collecting the right information is crucial, and at Sorey, Gilliland & Hull LLP, we want you to understand the exact steps to take and information you should gather after a trucking accident.
A total of 4,136 people were killed in U.S. truck accidents in 2018, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Many factors can contribute to truck accidents nationwide, from negligent driving behavior to equipment failure to hazardous road conditions. In Texas, the following are the most common reasons for large commercial truck crashes.
The electronic logging device (ELD), otherwise known as the black box, has been congressionally mandated for commercial drivers who are required to maintain records of their hours of service. Exceptions to that rule include drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000. The black box has become an integral part of trucking. In addition to data regarding the driver’s hours of service, it can provide data on vehicle speed, steering function, braking action, and other vehicle parameters.
In Texas, long-haul truck drivers who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) must pass a medical examination, to perform certain work. The certification of this exam must be on file with the Texas Department of Public Safety, and failing to keep this record current may result in the loss or downgrade of a CDL. Even CDL holders who are exempt from showing a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) medical certification must pass a Texas medical exam before driving in the state. After a downgrade, the driver will be required to take the skills and knowledge exams again before hitting the road.
Why are truckers required to have a certification from a medical examiner? Why does the state take it so seriously?
18-wheeler Driver Fell Asleep And Killed Driver.