Texas truck crash attorney offers insight into why in spite of awareness efforts and truck safety laws, so many are still injured in truck wrecks annually.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year over an estimated 300,000 motor vehicle crashes that involve commercial trucks occur in the United States. Statistics also suggest that more than 100,000 truck crash injuries occur annually in addition to more than 3,000 related deaths. Over time, a number of laws and regulations have been put into effect to help reduce the massive number of big rig crashes that harm people each year; however, the numbers still remain unsettlingly high.
Texas truck crash lawyer Amy Witherite says that in spite of efforts to reduce truck crashes, a major problem that contributes to so many is the negligence of truck drivers and trucking companies, and a failure to recognize commercial trucks as potentially dangerous weapons of mass destruction. Witherite has said in a previous publication about the issue “there seems to be a barrage of excuses laid out by those in the industry lately for why truck drivers and trucking companies are not doing what they are supposed to.”
Witherite says there are three keys reasons why even when equipped with modern day safety features, big rigs are still dangerous machines.
- Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds – When fully loaded, large trucks can weigh over 80,000 pounds, and when a collision occurs while they are traveling at high rates of speed, the result is almost always catastrophic.
- Trucks require more stopping time than passenger vehicles – Large trucks require up to 40 percent more of the time it takes for a passenger vehicle to stop. Therefore, if a truck driver is tailgating, or makes a quick or sharp turn, the risk of them causing an accident is higher.
- Trucks cause significant road damage – Because of their extremely heavy weight, trucks also put pressure on roads that contribute to uneven roadways and other hazards that if unrepaired, put other drivers in harm’s way.
How Truck Drivers Can Act Responsibly
Witherite suggests that truck drivers must recognize the risks involved in operating a commercial vehicle and take more steps to safely share the road with passenger vehicles. The truck wreck lawyer says to help reduce accident risks truckers should:
- Refuse to drive with distractions – According to Witherite, “commercial truck drivers should never risk letting distractions like mobile devices take their concentration and focus. It is never worth a phone call or text to put someone else’s life at risk.”
- Rid themselves of blind spots – Witherite previously stated of the issue in a previous blog, “for so long commercial trucks have alleged that they have large blind spots, and it is not safe for them to ride along the side of smaller vehicles too closely. However, there are mirrors truckers can easily purchase to rid themselves of potential blind spot hazards.”
- Obey speed limits and other laws – Speeding is one of the most commonly reported causes of major truck crashes, Witherite says. “It is imperative that truck drivers obey speed limits and use extra caution in construction areas and during inclement weather.”
Those who have been involved in a serious truck wreck in Texas who would like more information about their legal options can call Witherite Law Group’s helpline at 1-800-TRUCK-WRECK, at any time.