Two More Needless Deaths; Tips on Avoiding Car-Truck Accidents

On a recent Friday night, two men driving cars were killed in the San Antonio metro in separate collisions with 18-wheelers.

WOAI TV and KENS TV report both men were on I-35 when the crashes with big rigs took place. Neither trucker had serious injuries.

The crashes are tragic illustrations of the extreme dangers people in passenger vehicles face when they collide with large trucks on San Antonio's fast-moving highways.

In collisions with cars, pick-up trucks and SUVs, the laws of physics are simply are the side of drivers of enormous tractor-trailers. Those big rigs weigh up to 80,000 pounds, while passenger vehicles typically weigh from 2,000 to 6,000 pounds (for the very biggest SUVs).

Sobering Statistics

The National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration and other governmental agencies and non-profit organizations annually compile statistics about tractor trailer accidents.

  • The NHTSA says although commercial trucks such as 18-wheelers make up only four percent of registered vehicles, they are involved in 11 percent of all traffic fatalities
  • Nearly one-quarter of all passenger vehicles deaths in multi-vehicle crashes involve big rigs
  • More than 5,000 people are killed in crashes involving tractor-trailers each year; the equivalent of 26 major airliner crashes
  • The cost of injuries and deaths caused in crashes with large trucks is enormous: estimated to exceed $19 billion per year by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Tips for Avoiding Big Rig Dangers

  • Beware of blind spots: glance at the truck's rear-view mirrors; if you can't see the truck driver, the truck driver can't see you.
  • Leave room: if you're passing a semi-truck, don't enter the lane in front of it until you can see the entire cab in your rear-view mirror. Try to leave extra room between your vehicle and the truck because of a semi-truck's need for extra braking distance.
  • Wide berth: if a truck has its turn signal on, prepare to be patient. Don't try to pass it while it's about to make a turn. Big rigs typically make wide turns; many accidents occur when cars try to save time by zipping around a turning truck.

After a Tractor-Trailer Crash

If you or a member of your family has been injured in a crash involving a semi-truck, contact a San Antonio personal injury attorney familiar with trucking accident litigation. A personal injury lawyer evaluates your case and lets you know what your legal options are and how best to pursue them.