Trucking Accidents

The Houston truck accident lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard are privileged to help victims and family members affected by trucking accidents.

Please click here for a free, confidential consultation with a lawyer to discuss your legal rights before they are jeopardized by an employer or insurance company.

Answers to common questions about trucking and commercial vehicle injury cases can be found here.

About Large Trucks

The U.S. Department of Transportation classifies all trucks over 10,000 pounds as “large trucks.” Large trucks are very common on our roads, and include 18-wheeler tractor-trailers, delivery trucks, school buses, city buses, fuel trucks, garbage trucks, dump trucks, utility trucks, tow trucks, fire trucks, and a host of other types of trucks. There are millions of registered large trucks in Houston and throughout the United States.

A fully-loaded 18-wheeler can weight approximately 80,000 pounds. When compared to a typical Ford F-150 weighing 5,000 pounds, it is clear that accidents involving 18-wheelers and other heavy trucks can cause serious injuries or death.

In a four-year period from 2005-2009, large truck accidents resulted in over 24,000 fatalities. Although only 4.3 percent of registered vehicles are large trucks, they cause a disproportionate number of fatal accidents. For example, in 2010, large trucks were involved in approximately 23 percent of fatal vehicle accidents involving more than one vehicle. In 2012 alone, over 4,000 people were killed in trucking accidents, and over 100,000 people were injured.

Causes of Trucking Accidents

The difference in weights between a large truck and an ordinary vehicle is an obvious contributing factor to the severity of accidents involving large trucks. Another key factor is the fact that large trucks ride higher off the ground. In an accident, one of the greatest contributing factors to serious injuries is when an ordinary vehicle “underrides” a higher truck, which can cause the truck to penetrate into the passenger area of the ordinary vehicle.

Common causes of large truck accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue, sleep loss, sleep apnea, diminished alertness
  • Failure to properly respond to weather conditions
  • Failure to properly respond to road conditions
  • Faulty equipment (brakes, steering, tires, etc.)
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Driver distraction (cell phone, email, internet, texting, etc.)
  • Speeding / failure to obey traffic laws
  • Lack of familiarity with the route / poor planning
  • Steering error

Recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board

Recognizing the dangers of trucking accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board has issued several recommendations to make the roads safer for people sharing the roads with large trucks, but not enough is being done to carry them out. The recommendations include:

  • eliminating the use of portable electronic devices (cellphones, tablets, etc.)
  • stronger laws and enforcement of drug and alcohol regulations
  • implementation of life-saving technologies including collision warning technology, tire pressure monitoring systems, rollover stability control systems, lane departure warning systems, and front and side underride protection systems

Special 18-Wheeler Laws

The Road to Recovery: Morrow & Sheppard Can Help

People involved in a trucking accident face a long and difficult recovery. So do their families.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a large truck, the Houston truck accident attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard can help. We will work hard to understand what you are going through, and hold those at fault accountable so that you can live as normal a life as possible.

Please call us or click here for a free, confidential consultation.

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