Texas truck accidents, unfortunately, frequently occur along Texas highways. Large vehicles, like semi-trucks and commercial trucks, take on additional driving impairments that smaller vehicles don’t have. Avoiding a potential truck accident falls on the truck driver and the other drivers on the road to be aware of the warning signs and safe driving tactics.
Texas Truck Accident Risk Factors
Drivers of large commercial trucks are properly trained to operate them safely and perform safety checks on their vehicles. However, some major risk factors for large trucks are:
- Driver training and experience
- Training for larger trucks updates and drivers needs to be retrained.
- A truck driver’s experience plays a role in handling the vehicle on the roadways.
- Road unfamiliarity also falls under lack of experience. Truck drivers who are taking new routes can pose a threat on the road.
- Awareness of blind spots and other vehicles on the road
- Truck drivers should pay attention to their blind spots, especially on highways.
- If a truck is switching lanes and not paying attention to its blind spot, it will crash into a vehicle in the lane.
- Vehicle maintenance
- Truck drivers who don’t perform routine maintenance on their vehicles will risk possible tire blowouts, brake problems, unsecured or oversized loads, and other potential vehicle malfunctions.
- Driver fatigue
- If a truck driver is driving for too long and experiencing fatigue or drowsiness, this can cause drivers to drift into other lanes and potentially run vehicles off the road.
- Distracted driving
- Texting while operating a large truck is a recipe for disaster. Drivers that take their eyes off the road while driving on the highway are more likely to get in a Texas truck accident.
- Due to the weight, trucks traveling at high speeds on highways need a bit of time to slow down when approaching traffic. So if a truck driver comes across a sudden change in traffic and is not paying attention, they will not have enough space to stop.
- Severe truck crashes are often caused by the truck driver speeding. As mentioned above, with distracted driving, speeding doesn’t allow drivers enough time to react to traffic changes.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that for a truck to safely stop, they need a distance of about two football fields.
- Road and weather conditions
- Depending on the conditions of the road, potholes can cause damage to trucks, and truck drivers must be warry of road construction zones.
- Weather affects all drivers; drivers should slow down during rain storms to avoid hydroplaning.
How to Avoid a Texas Truck Accident
The Texas Department of Transportation recommends that large trucks have more space between other vehicles. This means tailgating from truck and vehicle drivers should not occur, especially on roadways with higher speed limits. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provided tips for truck drivers that include:
- Always check blind spots frequently
- Be aware of long stopping distances
- Carefully make wide turns
- Always drive at a safe speed
- Avoid distracted driving habits and stay focused
- Wear a seatbelt
- Use turn signals properly
- Check vehicle maintenance
- Plan out trips in advance
- Drive carefully through work zones
Texas truck drivers know that their shift hours are limited by law, and they can only be on duty for 15 consecutive hours with only 12 hours spent driving. Following this long shift, truck drivers must take 8 consecutive hours off after reaching this limit. Resting when feeling exhausted is important, even if the limit hasn’t been reached. For other vehicles to safely share the road with large trucks:
- Try to avoid being in blind spots of trucks
- Pass trucks safely
- Avoid tailgating
- Don’t use your brights
- Be patient when behind a truck
- Avoid distracted driving
Texas truck accidents in Texas can’t always be avoided. Contacting one of our Texas truck accident attorneys will help you receive proper compensation for your injuries and damages. Following a free consultation, you will feel confident your claim will be handled, and you can focus on getting better!