You flip on the news. There are flames and scattered wreckage all over the highway. It’s another Houston 18-wheeler accident. The pressures upon 18-wheeler drivers are often tremendous. Their livelihoods may depend upon tight schedules at maximum speeds in order to be economically feasible. Those speeds and the tremendous weights they carry make them dangerous projectiles on the road. And they’re not just here and there, they often pack the highways. What can you do to better your chances of not being involved in an accident with one of these behemoths?
Be Aware of Hazards
Remember, no one plans an accident. Practice defensive driving when near 18-wheelers. Be aware that 18-wheelers often carry dangerous or hazardous cargo. Keep extra distance between you and any large truck. Minimize your time directly behind them, if at all possible. When passing, use enough speed to get by in a safe but rapid manner. Good driving habits apply for all traffic, but be especially wary of 18-wheelers or large trucks with oversize loads. Bypass large cities with heavy traffic during your travels, if they’re not your destination. Those roads, like Houston’s, are often packed with large, dangerous trucks. The sad fact is that these drivers are sometimes indirectly pressured by companies to drive extreme schedules. Drivers often suffer fatigue, with poorly maintained trucks. And even skilled professional drivers driving the finest equipment can blow a tire or get cut off by traffic unexpectedly.
What to Do If Involved in an 18-Wheeler Accident
Even if you follow all safety guidelines, other vehicles often don’t. If, despite all precautions, you are involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler or another vehicle, what should you do? Make sure the accident is as fully documented as possible. Make sure you get a copy of any police report. If you’re hospitalized, have a family member or representative obtain it. Document any injuries. Do not accept any settlement offers during this fragile time!
Lack of proper maintenance, driver distraction or fatigue, and improper training are all factors which may enter into your case when trucking industry parties are involved. Not only the driver, but the company that he/she works for, and the manufacturer of truck or truck parts may be at fault. This is a situation where the absolute best in Houston truck accident lawyer representation is called for.