There’s no two ways about it, there are no good 18-wheeler accidents. Those who survive are often disabled for life.
While it’s true that a commercial long haul trucker is often under enormous pressure to get their load to their destination and get on the road again, this is no excuse to drive irresponsibly, putting other’s lives at stake.
The numbers of things that can go wrong on a highway involving a big rig are legion. Generally speaking though, there are five major factors that may result in a devastating wreck where any survivors will need to consult with an Austin personal injury attorney. First is something that most people have heard about, or at the very least, guessed was the case – driver fatigue.
Take the case of Dave Rossland (all names have been changed to protect the identity of the victims), a long haul trucker for an oil rig company. His usual hours are noon to 8 p.m. He gets home at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. What’s wrong with that picture? What’s wrong is that his regular log book shows 8 hour runs and sometimes the odd 9 hour deviation. His “actual” hours far exceed what the log book shows. The result of long hours and not enough sleep? Dave drove his tanker into the back of an SUV, killing 4 people and injuring himself as well.
It’s not just ordinary citizens who suspect that truckers drive while tired. The NTSB has studies that reveal tired truckers are likely to be implicated in up to 20% of all truck versus car fatal accidents and 7% of all other accidents that involve injuries and fatalities. A startling one-third of truckers who agreed to answer questions about their job routine, confessed to having drifted off while at the wheel. Figures like this tend to be used in court cases handled by Austin 18-wheeler accident injury attorneys. And the critical time for falling asleep while driving a rig was between 2 and 6 a.m. followed closely by mid-afternoon.
Next is something a great number of us have witnessed at one time or another, poor driving behavior. This may be the result of needing to make more money to make a living and thus driving faster, or it could be related to employer commandments about getting the job done on time and under budget. Whatever the reasons, some of the stunts truckers have pulled include failing to yield the right of way, driving aggressively and recklessly, driving too fast for prevailing road conditions, and unsafe passing maneuvers. Who hasn’t been just about crowded out of the driving lane now and then by a truck that passes way too close to the side of your car?
The results of these kinds of behaviors? Take the case of John Sterrner, who was booting his double semi down I-95 and came upon an elderly driver who was doing 50 mph. Frustrated and running late, he pulled out to pass without really watching what he was doing, and grazed the side of the woman’s car, causing it to flip into the ditch. The 65-year-old-woman died at the scene of the accident.
Have you been in a truck wreck and survived? You need to call an experienced Austin personal injury attorney and find out what your options are and how to file a lawsuit. You deserve compensation for someone else’s negligence.
Beverly Aylmer writes for Lee, Gober & Reyna. If you need an Austin personal injury lawyer, contact an Austin personal injury attorney from Lee, Gober & Reyna. Visit RWLeelaw.com.