Big Rig Accident Attorney
There were approximately 475,000 large truck accidents that occurred in the United States in 2016 and close to 25,000 of them happened on Texas roadways. Big rig accidents are not like passenger vehicle accidents they are generally much more severe due to the size and weight of the big rig. Large truck occupants are much less likely to sustain injuries than other people involved the accident. Passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and bicyclists are at a huge disadvantage as they sustain most of the injuries in big rig accidents. A big rig accident attorney will help you hold the negligent party responsible for their actions, no matter the size of the vehicle.
Big Rig Regulations
In an effort to keep Texas roads safe for everyone, trucking companies and big rig drivers are subject to both State of Texas and federal rules and regulations. The purpose of the rules and regulations is to be sure that truck drivers are properly trained and physically ready to operate their big rigs on the road next to other drivers, including those passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists that are extremely vulnerable next to them. Federal and state laws regulate activities such as how many hours a driver may operate his or her vehicle, how many consecutive days he or she may drive, safety training, and safe freight loading and carrying practices.
Dangers specific to big rig accidents
The significant size and weight of these vehicles (they can be 20 to 30 times heavier than passenger vehicles)make them extremely dangerous on the road. In addition to the obvious size factor compared to surrounding vehicles, there are other dangers specific to big rigs resulting from a combination of their size, design, and freight. See below for some of their characteristic dangers:
- Propensity to jackknife – A jackknife occurs when the cab of a big rig stops suddenly and the trailer is not able to stop because of forward momentum. The trailer then swings out to the side and takes out anything in its way.
- Underriding – Underriding occurs when a passenger vehicle slides under big rigs in an accident due to the truck’s higher ground clearance. This often causes decapitation and other fatal injuries to passenger vehicle occupants.
- Freight/hazardous material spillage – When freight or hazardous materials spill out from a big rig trailer, injuries can occur if vehicles come into contact with these materials. Other accidents can be caused between vehicles trying to avoid coming into contact with the spilled materials.
- Blind spots – Big rigs often have blind spots all over their vehicles from the sides, to the back, and the front due to their size, height, and lack of windows. Mirrors can help, but blind spots still exist.
- Inability to break quickly or efficiently – Big rigs have difficulty breaking because of their weight and size and the heavier they are, the longer it takes them to brake. That is unfortunate in situations that require them to stop quickly in order to avoid an accident.
- Inability to maneuver quickly and efficiently – Big rigs are so large and heavy that compared to passenger vehicles, they really have no way to swerve adeptly in situations where they need to do so in order to avoid hitting a car or some other obstruction.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries and damages in a big rig accident, contact a Dallas big rig accident attorney at the Law Office of Dorothy Hyde for a consultation. We know the devastation that big rig accidents can cause and we will do everything in our power to see that you are fully and fairly compensated for your damages and injuries.