Commercial Trucks: A Threat On Roadways

Semis and other cargo delivery trucks, often much larger than passenger vehicles, are a potent threat to motorists, motorcyclists and bicyclists. Because truck accidents can be so dangerous, commercial transportation carriers must be operated and maintained according to regulations developed by federal and state authorities.

For example, drivers must undergo extensive training to demonstrate that they are capable of safely operating large vehicles in traffic. Once licensed to operate commercial trucks, drivers must follow detailed rules about how long they can drive and what they’re able to haul. Additionally, trucking companies must schedule regular maintenance on vehicles and observe other regulations.

Unfortunately, laws governing the commercial trucking industry are routinely broken — often due to negligence. As a result, truck drivers and commercial delivery companies are often responsible for motor vehicle accidents and can be determined liable for personal injury damages.

Common Causes Of Truck Accidents
There are many potential causes of truck accidents. Some of the most frequent to occur are the direct result of negligent actions on the part of truck drivers or commercial delivery companies.

Following are some common causes of truck accidents:

Driver fatigue. Federal law states that drivers may operate a truck for no longer than 11 hours at a time. Following this period on the road, an operator must break from driving for at least 10 hours. Drivers are legally responsible for keeping a logbook that tracks the number of hours and miles they drive.
Distracted driving. Truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road, and the temptation to talk on a handheld cellphone or sending text messages can be very strong. It is also against the law, and potential grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Speeding. Drivers are under increasing pressure to shorten the time it takes to transport their goods from city to city. Operators may drive over the speed limit to make up time on the road. Pressure to go faster may also cause drivers to follow passenger vehicles too closely.
Oversized load violations. Safety standards dictate clear restrictions on how much weight a truck may carry. Additionally, there are standards for properly securing loads, marking large loads and following travel restrictions.

How Can An Attorney Help?
To protect themselves from lawsuits, trucking companies and their insurance companies employ people who specialize in investigating truck accident. These professionals have an interest in minimizing a trucker’s or company’s fault in accidents. This makes it especially important that you also have a knowledgeable advocate, someone to look out for your legal and financial interests after a car accident.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will be familiar with state and federal trucking laws, providing insight on what accident factors may make it possible for you to file a civil lawsuit. Additionally, an attorney can obtain cellphone records, logbooks and other materials that can be critical toward proving a driver was distracted, fatigued or engaged in another negligent behavior at the time of an accident.

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Motorcyclists Face Serious Risks

Houston’s mild climate makes it possible for residents to ride motorcycles for most of the year. This benefit, however, also comes with risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 429 people died in Texas as a result of motorcycle accidents in 2010, accounting for a disproportionate 14 percent of all vehicle accident deaths in the state. Thousands more motorcyclists are injured in motor vehicle accidents.

State and federal highway authorities promote annual safety campaigns advising car and truck drivers to watch out for motorcyclists. Motorists in cars and trucks are warned to “share the road,” but the rate of accidents involving motorcycles remains high. Too many still drivers fail to operate with a standard of care that could prevent collisions with motorcycles.

Common Accidents Involving Cars And Motorcycles
Motorcycles have a smaller vehicle profile than cars and trucks. As a result, other motorists routinely fail see motorcycles and often strike riders in traffic.

Motorcycle accidents commonly involve:

  • Cars making a left turn. This type of accident frequently happens when a motorcyclist is trying to pass or go through an intersection. Operators of cars and trucks, unaware of motorcyclists, turn into bikers.
  • Head-on collisions. In head-on collisions, a car or truck strikes a motorcyclist in the front of the bike. Given the lack of safety features on a motorcycle, like a car’s seat belt or air bag, these accidents typically project a biker into the air and often result in his or her death.
  • Collisions from the rear. This type of accident occurs when the driver of a car or truck fails to see a motorcycle and strikes it in the back. A motorcyclist may well be thrown from the bike and sustain serious injuries.
  • Drivers of cars and trucks are supposed to look twice for motorcycles. When passing, motorists in larger vehicles are expected to make sure that a motorcycle has an entire lane in which to operate. Unfortunately, these and other rules often go unheeded by car and truck drivers, severely endangering motorcyclists.

Recovering From A Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents can be among the most severe to happen on the road. Given that motorcycles offer very little in the way of protection during collisions, these crashes very often kill bikers. Accidents that are not deadly frequently leave riders with catastrophic medical conditions such as spinal fractures or traumatic head injuries. That’s not to mention the scratches, bruises, broken bones and other less-critical injuries that motorcyclists often sustain in collisions.

If you have been injured on a motorcycle in a car accident caused by another party, or tragically lost a loved one in a crash, you may be eligible to receive personal injury compensation. This can be a critical step in recovering from a crash. A monetary award can be used to cover current and future medical expenses as well as the lost wages of a family provider who is no longer able to work.

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Motorcyclist in critical condition after Texas accident

According to El Paso police, a 28-year-old woman was traveling westbound on Artcraft Road when she attempted to make a left turn onto Westside Drive and collided into a motorcycle . The 30-year-old male rider of the motorcycle was ejected from the bike on impact, according to police investigators. After that collision, both vehicles subsequently struck a stationary school bus, investigators said. Authorities reportedly found the motorcycle sandwiched between the car and the bus upon arriving to the scene.

The motorcyclist was injured in the accident, and emergency responders transported him to Universal Medical Center for treatment of injuries that authorities consider life-threatening. Police said the man was wearing a safety helmet at the time of the incident. Reportedly, the driver of the car suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene. Accident investigators stated that the car driver’s failure to yield the right of way to the motorcycle caused the accident.

Hundreds of motorcycle riders are involved in accidents on Texas roads every year, and many of these accidents are caused by negligent or reckless drivers. Because the structure of motorcycles does little to protect riders during collisions, the injuries motorcyclists suffer are often serious, requiring costly medical care, physical therapy and prolonged absences from work while they heal. For this reason, victims of motorcycle accidents often retain a personal injury attorney to hold at-fault drivers accountable for the resulting damages via a civil suit.

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