Eighteen-wheelers are dangerous enough, let alone when an inexperienced driver gets behind the wheel. But if the driver or trucking-company fails to keep the rig in safe operating condition, the consequences can be even more disastrous.
Federal, state, and industry rules and guidelines determine routine maintenance, repair and inspection schedules. But companies and drivers don’t always follow the rules.
These big rigs are much more complicated than passenger cars and take a beating while on the road. Something can go wrong at any time. Therefore, it’s not only the trucking company’s duty to inspect and maintain the rig, it’s also the driver’s duty, before, during and after starting a route.
Mechanical Failures That Cause Accidents
Careful and planned maintenance can save lives and prevent many of the 18-wheeler accidents that happen on roads and highways in Texas. Common mechanical failures that cause accidents include:
- Improperly or unhitched trailer: This risks that the trailer will detach from the cab while on the road, veering or swaying or causing the truck to jackknife in almost any weather conditions
- Steering column problems: Broken steering can cause the driver to lose control very quickly and go off the road or into oncoming traffic
- Broken headlights and signals: Burnt-out lights make it difficult to impossible for oncoming traffic and traffic traveling the same direction as the truck to see the vehicle until it’s too late
- Inadequate lighting and reflective markings, especially along the length of the trailer: Failure to light the sides of the trailer is the major cause of T-bone and underside crashes when trucks cross roadways and oncoming drivers cannot see lights on the sides of the trailer
- Improperly packed or secured cargo shifting around during transit: Shifting can cause the load in the trailer to shift suddenly, tipping the trailer over on one side and dragging the entire rig out of control
- Overweight cargo creates extra wear and tear on the entire rig: Extra weight is especially hard on the tires making blowouts more likely on worn tires carrying too much weight
- Spilled cargo or parts falling from the vehicle onto other cars or the road surface: Spills and falling objects create dangerous and often deadly conditions for surrounding and following drivers
- Worn, faulty or poorly-maintained brakes: Bad brakes make it difficult or impossible to stop within normal distances
When truck accidents happen, they are serious. Poor maintenance puts truck drivers at risk as well as thousands of passenger vehicles traveling along the same route in all four directions. If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious truck accident in Texas, we can help you.
How Can a Truck Accident Lawyer Help?
We have decades of experience ensuring that you receive the medical care you need to recover and return to work. But, we also know that it’s extremely important to investigate the accident and preserve the vehicle and all parts that could have caused the accident.
To help you obtain the most compensation possible for an injury or a death, you must act quickly before the trucking company or insurance company scraps the vehicle or “loses” maintenance records.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Contact a trucking accident attorney now if you have been hurt in a serious truck accident in Texas. We care about your rights and helping you put your life back together as soon as possible.