According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 3400 people killed in fatal auto crashes in the state of Texas in 2007. Of these fatalities, nearly ten percent were the result of accidents involving “large trucks”, as defined by the NHTSA.
Although some auto accidents are the result of factors beyond the control of drivers, most accidents involve some form of negligence. In the case of accidents involving semis, 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks, however, the type of negligence present may be more difficult to detect.
Intoxication Not Typically the Cause of Semi Driver Negligence
Due to strict laws and regulations, significant alcohol impairment by commercial truck drivers is not a frequent cause of large truck-related accident fatalities. Whereas 23 percent of car drivers and 27 percent of motorcycle drivers involved in fatal accidents (for the year 2007) had a BAC over .08, only 1 percent of commercial truck drivers involved in fatal accidents had a BAC of over .08 according to the NHTSA.
Speeding May Not be the Cause Either
Because commercial truck drivers need their commercial license to keep their job, they are typically less likely than car drivers to have a history of speeding tickets or previous license suspension/revocation. According to the NHTSA, only 8 percent of large truck drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2007 had a previous suspension or revocation compared to 15% of passenger car drivers.
Experience is the Key to Discovering Negligence
While commercial truckers are not typically speeding or driving while impaired, they often are driving negligently when accidents occur. As experienced personal injury attorneys, we have uncovered trucker negligence in many forms. Causes of semi truck accidents include:
- Unsecured loads
- Driver fatigue
- Inattentive drivers
- Poor truck maintenance
- Tire and brake failure
- Aggressive and unsafe driving
Due to our extensive experience in commercial truck accident claims, we are able to detect forms of driver negligence that may be missed by less-experienced attorneys.
Attorney T. Ernest Freeman is Board Certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. If you have been injured by a negligent commercial truck driver, contact our Law office in Houston at (713) 973-1000.