Two recent, local crashes involving semi trucks have left San Antonio residents wary of trucking accidents and the devastation they can cause.
On September 16 a tractor-trailer rig loaded with corn collided with a sport utility vehicle at an overpass in Atascosa County. The collision resulted in tons of corn spilled across the highway. Two people were treated at a nearby hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. Authorities claimed the accident may have been caused by one of the vehicles turning too sharply.
On September 24 a tanker rig overturned, spilling gasoline over part of Loop 410. The driver lost control of the truck, which veered out of the travel lane before overturning. No injuries were reported.
The Danger of 18-Wheelers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of out of every nine traffic fatalities in 2008 resulted from a collision involving a big rig. In 2008, 4,066 freight trucks were involved in fatal crashes. Of the fatalities caused by 18-wheelers, 74 percent were occupants of other vehicles. The NHTSA reported that more big rig crashes (10.4 percent of the U.S. total) occur in Texas than in any other state.
As a motor vehicle driver, it’s important to be aware and cautious while driving near a commercial vehicle. Tractor-trailer crashes often happen when drivers speed, run red lights and stop signs, make illegal maneuvers or collide with the rear end of another vehicle. According to the NHTSA, 2 percent of semi truck accidents were the result of a drunk driver.
In 2007 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the NHTSA conducted the Large Truck Crash Causation Study to identify the high risk factors that cause trucking crashes. The study found that crashes involving a semitrailer and a passenger vehicle are most often caused by interrupted traffic flow, unfamiliarity with roadway, inadequate surveillance or driving too fast for conditions.
If you are a victim of an accident involving a commercial vehicle, contact an attorney immediately. Cases involving freight trucks are different from other vehicle collisions due to strict regulations within the trucking industry. It’s important to find an attorney with specialized knowledge and experience to ensure you are awarded the settlement you need and deserve.