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18 Wheeler Accident Injury Lawyers San Antonio
Our Law Office maintains this website representing people across Texas for 18-wheeler truck injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by 18-wheeler accidents. In a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most drivers admit to falling asleep while driving, and 8% of those surveyed admitted to driving while drowsy within the past six months. Sixty percent confessed to falling asleep when driving on highways with speed limits of 55 miles per hour or higher. Traffic fatality rates based on mileage were 3.2 times higher at night than during the day. More info on this website
Motorists should be aware that drowsy driving decreases awareness, impairs judgment, and slows reaction time comparable to driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The following are symptoms of fatigue:
Eyes going in and out of focus
Restlessness and irritability
Thoughts that are disconnected or wandering
No memory of driving for the last few miles
Drifting onto the shoulder
Drifting between lanes
Failure to obey traffic signals and signs
Driving at an abnormal speed
The following are safety tips for avoiding driving while fatigued:
Avoid driving between midnight and 6 a. m.
Regularly maintain a schedule of sleep that provides adequate rest.
When you begin to show signs of fatigue, get off of the road safely as soon as you can, find a well-lit area that seems safe and secure, and take a brief nap. Never simply stop on the roadside.
The following are tips for when you are planning to take a lengthy trip in which you will likely deal with fatigue:
Start the trip during the early daylight hours.
Share the responsibility for driving with a companion.
About every 2 hours or 100 miles, stop and walk around because exercise is a great way to combat fatigue.
Keep the car’s interior cool.
Stop to enjoy snacks and light meals.
Keep your legs flexed at about a 45-degree angle, your shoulders back, and your head up.
Large commercial vehicles such as 18-wheelers must be well-maintained, but many types of equipment failures and malfunctions occur on Texas roads. Brake failure, engine malfunction, and tire blowouts are among the problems. Because of the size of large trucks, the results of such malfunctions are often catastrophic, causing lives.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the number of fatal crashes in Texas involving a commercial rig jumped nearly 19% from 2019 to 2021. A total of 4,480 people were killed on Texas roads in 2021, making it the second deadliest year since TxDOT began tracking fatalities in 1940. There are many reasons that 18-wheeler tractor-trailers are involved in crashes on Texas roads every year, and driving while fatigued is one of them. Statistics show that a large segment of the general population admits to falling asleep while driving. Still, the threat of commercial drivers being behind the wheel without adequate rest is much greater. The industry’s competitiveness is the major factor that leads drivers to violate federal regulations regarding the number of hours they can drive within certain time frames. Driving while fatigued is comparable to driving while intoxicated.
Crashes involving highway transportation are the leading cause of fatal injuries for the general population and truck drivers in the United States. In 2020, 37.3 percent of all work-related fatalities were transportation incidents. Reports show, however, that most fatalities caused by 18-wheeler accidents are occupants of passenger vehicles. Smaller vehicles are vulnerable because they are outweighed by big rigs by as much as 30 times their weight. Because of the high ground clearance of large trucks, smaller automobiles often underride them in crashes. Another factor in 18-wheeler crashes is braking capability. If a tractor-trailer is loaded, the stopping distance can be 20% to 40% further than the distance it takes for a car to stop. The stopping distance is even greater if roads are slippery and wet or the truck’s brakes are poorly maintained.
Fatigue is a crash risk factor among truck drivers. Federal regulations limit the hours a truck driver can work without sleep, but those guidelines are frequently violated. All drivers must be alert and careful, especially regarding 18-wheeler drivers. The vehicles are huge, require a lot more distance to stop, are more difficult to maneuver, and can weigh 26 times more than the average vehicle on the roads. Driver errors are, unfortunately, not uncommon among 18-wheeler operators and drivers of other commercial vehicles, which means trouble for everyone on Texas roads. Driving while fatigued is a widespread problem among commercial truck drivers because of the competitive nature of the industry and despite federal laws which seek to curb the activity. The following are among the other driving behaviors that are dangerous and yet which many big rig drivers have been known to practice:
Making lane changes in an unsafe manner.
Cutting off other vehicles.
Driving at speeds that are unsafe for road conditions.
Making turns in an unsafe manner.