Texas drivers are no strangers to big rigs. In fact, your daily commute may take you along a route where many truckers travel, and you may have experienced more than a few hairy moments sharing the road with tractor-trailers and other large commercial vehicles.
The latest data regarding traffic fatalities shows a steady decline over recent years. However, that may be of little comfort to you if you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an accident with a truck. Despite the overall decline in traffic accidents, crashes involving big rigs continue to occur at alarming rates.
Why the increase in accidents?
An accident with a big rig can be a terrifying event. The massive size and often unreasonable speeds of tractor-trailers make them difficult to stop when traffic patterns change. Truck drivers may easily lose control of their vehicles, leaving you with no way out of a deadly situation. Not only are you likely to suffer serious, even catastrophic injuries, but you may live with emotional trauma for the rest of your life. You may also suffer the devastating loss of a loved one.
Unfortunately, these events occur more often than in the past years. In fact, recent reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that while motor vehicle accident fatalities declined 2% since 2016, deadly truck accidents increased 9%. Over 70% of the victims were drivers or passengers in vehicles other than the truck. Speculation for why more trucking accidents are occurring leads to the following reasons:
- The mandatory 30-minute rest break for every eight hours of driving puts truckers behind schedule, so they speed to meet their deadlines.
- The rest break actually makes truckers sleepier.
- Because a lack of funding caused the closing of some truck stops, truckers complain that they often cannot find a place to safely park to sleep, so fatigued driving remains a problem.
- Not every trucking company installs driver monitoring technology in their rigs to analyze the habits of truck drivers.
- Those trucks that include driver-assist technology such as automatic braking may be making drivers less conscientious when they drive.
- A shortage of truckers has trucking companies hiring younger, inexperienced drivers.
- Younger drivers seem to have poor driving habits, such as texting while operating their rigs.
Distracted driving remains a critical issue for every driver on the road, including truckers. There is a good chance that distraction, fatigue or a combination of factors led to the accident that resulted in your pain and suffering. You have every right to seek justice with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.