Statistics have shown that the commercial trucks commonly referred to as 18-wheelers contribute to 5% of reported injuries related to accidents, and almost 15% of accident injury related deaths. Texas has an estimated 7,000 injury causing tractor trailer accidents occurring annually, with hundreds resulting in death. The size of tractor trailer vehicles makes it difficult for them to stop suddenly or at all under certain conditions, and increases the risk of serious injury or fatalities when an accident occurs with another vehicle or pedestrian. These types of vehicles, on average, weigh more than 25 times the average automobile. Trailer tractor accidents can incur massive damages including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering for victims.Accidents involving 18-wheelers commonly result from driver fatigue, speeding, recklessness, and improper vehicle maintenance. The law requires ongoing maintenance of tractor trailer vehicles put on the road, and outlines strict rules and safety standards for operation, however, some employers ignore guidelines and put their drivers and others at risk. Some even pressure drivers to drive for extended hours, without stopping, to meet tight deadlines. These factors only elevate issues within an occupation deemed hazardous by nature.
Statistics propose that the majority of drivers of these kinds of commercial vehicles drive with more caution than typical drivers of passenger automobiles, however, thousands of accidents involving 18-wheelers still occur. Improper training leaves some drivers unaware of the risks associated with certain driving behaviors. Due to this issue, federal laws have been designed that pertain specifically to maintaining and operating these vehicles. In the event of an accident that involves a tractor trailer vehicle, a qualified lawyer can assist victims with sorting through legal provisions and qualify the merits of one’s case. This category of cases often requires an attorney’s assistance due to their being so complex. Accident victims should obtain if possible the name and contact information of the trucking company that owns the 18-wheeler involved, to expedite the process of filing their claim. Reference lists of major trucking companies can be found online if more detailed information is needed about one in particular.