Dallas, 09/21/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/
One of the dangers of commercial trucks – including 18-wheelers, dump trucks, and tractor-trailers is that they are large, unwieldy vehicles that can cause devastating injuries and property damage if a driver loses control for even a second. In addition, truck drivers often have more blind spots in their rearview mirrors than small vehicles, which means commercial truck lane changes are far less safe and are one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the U.S.
Sadly, a recent truck accident in Arlington has once again proven the damage that these collisions can cause, as a tractor-trailer, dump truck, and garbage truck were all recently involved in a wreck that resulted in one fatality.
The accident occurred at the corner of Arlington’s North Collins and Mosier Valley road at around 11 a.m. when a Duncan Disposal garbage truck was headed south on Collins and about to turn right to go west on Mosier Valley Road.
As the garbage truck made its turn, it smashed into an 18-wheeler and a dump truck, which caused the garbage truck to tip over and skid onto its side.
Police said that the driver of the Duncan Disposal truck was pronounced dead at the scene and that the driver of the dump truck was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. The driver of the 18-wheeler did not sustain any injuries.
Although police have not yet released details of their investigation, including which driver was at fault, the accident highlights the growing trend of accidents between commercial vehicles, and the injuries and property damage these types of accidents can cause.
Other Recent Accidents
Durham, NC – In June, the driver of a tractor-trailer was traveling westbound on Interstate 40 when he lost control of his vehicle. It then veered across three lanes and hit a dump truck, causing it to overturn and strike a 1-800-Got-Junk truck. An SUV and a blue sedan were also involved in the chain-reaction accident, which thankfully did not result in any serious injuries.
Police said the crash was triggered by a couch that fell off the back of a pickup truck – not involved in the collision – which caused the tractor-trailer driver to take evasive action to avoid the sofa.
Police cited the driver of the pickup truck for not securing his load and said that the driver of the tractor-trailer lost $20 million worth of insulin that he was carrying because the truck’s cooling system failed after the accident.
Vacaville, CA – In July, two tractor-trailers were involved in an accident in the westbound lanes of I-80.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the accident occurred about 4 a.m. when one of the big rigs, which was parked to the side of the freeway was hit by a second big rig. Both commercial trucks overturned upon impact, causing massive delays in morning traffic.
Sgt. Steven Lott of the CHP said, “No, they were not sleeping on the side of the road,” referring to the tractor-trailer that was parked off-road. “They stopped momentarily, for what reasons, they are still under investigation.”
He added that the drivers in both trucks suffered minor injuries and that it was only by luck that they were not killed in the accident.
Both tractor-trailers sustained severe damage, and the contents being carried by the second truck – scrap metal – spilled all over the freeway, which required a massive cleanup effort.
Lompoc, CA – In August, the driver of a box truck lost control of his vehicle, swerved across a highway and struck a semi-trailer – driven by Fred L. Williams – causing an accident that shut traffic down for hours.
CHP said the truck-on-truck accident occurred on Highway 1, and that the driver of the box truck – Juan M. Rivera – was driving northbound when his vehicle crossed the double yellow lines into the southbound lane.
The head-on collision caused injuries to Rivera, Williams, and William’s brother Anthony, all who were taken to a local hospital for varying injuries.
CHP is still investigating the accident, but a spokesperson said that drugs, nor alcohol, were a factor and that investigators were focused on possible driver error and/or driver inattention as the primary cause of the accident.
Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents
With the number of truck accidents continuing to rise, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently published a major report about the most common causes of accidents involving trucks.
The FMCSA identified the following as major contributing factors in commercial truck accidents:
- Driver Fatigue – Overworked drivers are often pressured to make delivery schedules, even if it violates the federally mandated 82-hour workweek.
- Violating Hours of Service – The Hours of Service rule designates a certain number of consecutive hours a commercial truck driver can operate a vehicle. Frequent violations of this rule can directly lead to accidents.
- Driver Distraction – This is a common cause of all accidents, but more dangerous in commercial vehicles because of their size. Mobile phone use and texting are the biggest distractions.
- Lack of Vehicle Maintenance – Improper maintenance of a truck can cause breakdowns at the most inopportune time. Trucks that are not on a regular maintenance schedule are far more likely to experience a mechanical issue that can result in an accident.
- Excessive Speed – Failure to maintain proper speed is an issue in all car accidents, but is more devastating with commercial trucks because of their sheer size and power.
- Improper Lane Changes – This is another common factor in all accidents, but big trucks take up much more room than small vehicles, which means that an improper lane change in these types of vehicles can result in a fatal collision.
- Improper Load – Commercial vehicles often carry heavy loads, and if those loads are not properly packed, they can become loose and fall off a moving truck.
In its report, the FMCSA noted that by forcing owners to adhere to the prescribed Hours of Service for each of their drivers, the number of commercial truck accidents would be dramatically reduced.
“Fatigue is much more prevalent amongst commercial truck drivers because of the long hours they spend on the road, coupled with the intense pressure they face to ensure that they meet their delivery schedules,” said Amy Witherite, partner at Eberstein Witherite, LLP. “This is dangerous for drivers, as well as other motorists on the road since even the smallest amount of overcorrection can result in a serious and sometimes even fatal accident.”
The existing Hours of Service differ depending on the weight of a commercial truck, but there are two main driving limits: 10 hours with 8 consecutive hours off duty, and 15 hours with 8 consecutive hours off duty.
“While the FMCSA can’t monitor every commercial truck owner 24/7 to ensure they are adhering to Hours of Service legislation, the organization is implementing new measures to curb the scary rise in commercial truck accidents, including requiring that new drivers complete more hours of training to obtain their commercial driver’s license, and that veteran drivers take continuing education classes to ensure their skills stay current,” Witherite added. “In addition, commercial truck drivers are also required to regularly maintain and inspect their vehicles, and submit repair confirmations to the FMCSA.”
What To Do If You’re Injured In a Commercial Truck Accident
While driver awareness and better legislation may help to lower the number of commercial truck accidents occurring across the country, they aren’t going to help too much if you are injured in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver. In these types of situations, you will need an experienced and compassionate advocate of victim’s rights to stand by your side throughout the entire legal process.
“The lawyers here at 1-800-Truck-Wreck have helped hundreds of Texas truck accident victims get back on their feet, and obtain compensation for medical bills, as well as pain and suffering,” Witherite concluded. “An accident can have long-term consequences, and the lawyers at 1-800-Truck-Wreck will do everything in their power to ensure your peace of mind as you heal both mentally and physically.”
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