Texas Panhandle Fatal Semi Truck Accidents
There are thousands of semi-trucks that take to Texas’s extensive network of roads and highways each day to transport cargo across the country. While an essential means of moving goods, large semi-trucks seem to be a magnet for serious accidents that leave Texans severely injured or even killed. A recent semi-truck accident in Crane County, Texas left an Amarillo woman dead. Stephanie Tijerina was driving north on 385 in her small Nissan Altima around 2:30 in the afternoon and collided with a large semi-truck. She, sadly, did not make it out alive. Just one month later in Fritch, Texas a driver died after getting into an accident with a semi-truck. The accident shut down Highway 136 and diverted traffic for hours. These accidents are unfortunately just a couple of examples out of many fatal semi-truck accidents that occur in the Texas panhandle. Texas has the unfortunate distinction of leading the country in fatal semi-truck accidents each year. Out of all big rig accident deaths in the country, an average of 13 percent can be attributed to Texas.
Why are semi-truck accidents so serious?
Unlike regular passenger vehicles, semi-trucks are designed for durability and are able to carry massive loads of cargo. Semi-trucks in the U.S. can weigh up to 80,000 pounds compared to an average size passenger vehicle that weighs only 4,000 pounds. Truck accidents are often more serious because of the difference in size and weight of a truck when compared to smaller vehicles. The greater the size and weight of the vehicle causing the impact, the more deadly the roadway accident can be.
Truck drivers also need more room on the road to drive when compared to a passenger vehicle. This need for more space allows a truck driver an appropriate amount of time to stop, slow down, or turn their rig without damaging any other vehicles. This is why it is a bad idea to stop suddenly in front of a semi-truck. It may take double or even triple the amount of time for a truck to stop depending on how heavy their cargo is, among other factors. If the truck is driving through a storm or on slick roads, it may need even more time to stop. This is why it is a good idea to give semi-trucks plenty of space while driving.
Semi-trucks also have significant blind spots due to limited vision around the tractor trailers they are pulling. Many truck drivers have a difficult time spotting passenger vehicles in their mirrors, which can quickly result in a semi running a smaller car off the road. Commercial trucks often haul hazardous or heavy materials on tractor trailers, which can add even more danger to a potential collision.
Semi-Truck Accident Causes
There are many common causes of semi-truck accidents that can be attributed to driver error or negligence, as some drivers do not follow all safety protocols set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This FMCSA regulations were passed to ensure truck drivers have the proper qualifications, emergency equipment, understand how to safely load their trucks, and are aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated or fatigued.
Common causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Driver inexperience
- Lack of training
- Overloaded cargo
- Poor driving conditions
- Brake failure
- Driver fatigue
- Blind spots
- Driving while distracted
- Road rage
- Equipment malfunction
- Lost loads
- Mechanical failure
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless or dangerous driving
FMCSA statistics show two-thirds of large truck crashes can be attributed to a truck driver’s failure to recognize crash risks by being distracted, inattentive, or failing to observe conditions on the road; the truck driver’s poor judgement including driving too fast, tailgating, or not properly adjusting to the speed of vehicles around them; and truck drivers making the wrong assumption about other drivers’ actions. Semi-truck drivers must be specially trained and licensed to operate their vehicles, and must know the ins-and-outs of driving safely with a heavy load of cargo.
In general, if a car gets into an accident with a semi-truck, the car is going to lose. The majority of fatalities in semi-truck accidents are usually the occupants of the passenger vehicle involved. Semi-truck accident cases can be very complex as there are often multiple parties who need to be held liable for the serious injuries and other damage caused in a wreck. It is essential to find an experienced Texas truck accident lawyer to help you navigate this difficult process.
Texas Panhandle Semi Truck Accident Lawyers
The Semi Truck Accident team at Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP is here to listen to you and will take into account the extent of your injuries, your medical costs, any lost wages or income, and your ongoing pain and suffering when building your case. Based on all these factors, we will determine the appropriate amount to request as compensation for your injuries. Insurance companies and companies involved in the trucking industry do not want to pay out for the damages you suffered. They will contest everything to save money and avoid blame. You need a legal team with the experience, resources, and acumen to fight back just as hard to hold the negligent party or parties accountable.
Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough, LLP has helped hundreds of clients recover substantial amounts. Overall, we aim to take the stress and legal burden off of you and your loved ones so you can focus on your recovery. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, contact us today at 806-373-1515 to discuss your situation.