Common Causes of Truck Accidents
Are you wondering what some common causes of truck accidents are? Though the carrying capacity of commercial trucks makes them one of the most efficient ways to ship large quantities of goods across great distances, the size of a truck can be a blessing and a curse. Trucks can range from simple U-hauls to eighteen-wheel behemoths, but what they all have in common is that they tend to be much bigger than the average car. This means that when a car and a truck share a road, the driver and passengers in the car face an elevated risk of collision.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents | Cargo
Because the size of any given truck’s cargo can prevent a driver from seeing through the rear windshield, truck drivers must rely only on their side mirrors in order to keep track of traffic behind them. Smaller cars can easily disappear into the truck drivers’ blind spots, making a collision likely when truck drivers try to change lanes without thoroughly checking if the adjacent lanes are clear. The size of a truck makes coming to a sudden stop is far more difficult than it is for cars, and some trailers may inherently have a higher risk of rollover. When a truck collides with another car, skids uncontrollably, or turns over, the larger, heavier truck may be able to continue on its route unscathed, almost as if nothing had happened, while a car may lose a mirror, a door, or even half its frame.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents | Distracted Driving
Distracted driving remains a widespread and serious problem in the state of Texas, as even a split-second lapse in attention can have fatal consequences. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that as many as 20 percent of all crashes (private and commercial vehicle alike) are caused by driver distractions. In 2017, Texas’s state legislature adopted a new law to prevent this unfortunate trend. Sending and reading emails and/or text messages while driving are now illegal practices within state borders. This law, however, has a loophole: it does not necessarily count cell phone use for other purposes, such as checking a map or playing music, as illegal. Accepting a phone call while driving, though a risky decision, is still legal as long as it is through a hands-free device. Though several dozen cities throughout Texas, including population hubs such as Austin and Galveston, have passed local ordinances that prohibit all cell phone usage for drivers, Houston has not followed suit. This means that while truck drivers in the Houston area may not text while behind the wheel, their mobile devices still provide a wealth of other possible distractions that can lead to crashes.
If you have further questions about common causes of truck accidents, please call our Houston truck accident lawyer today for a free consultation.