Semi Truck Accidents

Driver Fatigue

San Antonio is one of the fastest growing cities in the country; it’s already the second most populous in Texas. Travel to any part of San Antonio and you’re bound to come across a major construction project. Construction workers are driving 18-wheelers all around our roads and highways and working long hours on a wide variety of projects, from new housing developments to street improvements to renovations downtown.

The hours of work commercial drivers put in at their job sites takes a toll on their ability to safely operate their 18-wheelers. This increases the risk of accidents with passenger vehicles that can lead to serious injuries or, in the worst case scenario, loss of life. Every year, more than 750 people die and more than 20,000 are injured as the result of driver fatigue on the part of commercial drivers. The overwhelming majority of the injured and deceased are in passenger vehicles involved in the accident.

Though most drivers of 18-wheelers in San Antonio do their best to operate their vehicles safely, the best of intentions can be lost in the face of actions that are inherently unsafe. Drivers of 18-wheelers are often paid by the mile and not by the hour, giving truckers a reason to perform beyond what is safe. This may result in driver fatigue.

There are several federal guidelines commercial truck operators must follow to document they are working in a safe manner to protect all drivers on the road. Truckers are required to log their hours and miles and are capped by established maximums. Unfortunately, the logs drivers keep aren’t always reflective of what actually takes place.

In a recent report, it was found that many drivers falsify their logs. They admitted to underreporting the number of hours or miles they’ve driven and some even offered falling asleep at the wheel at least one time during a given week. The pressure truck drivers face to make delivery deadlines is immense and drivers often sacrifice public safety for performance.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports about 100,000 accidents attended to by the police were related to driver fatigue. When driver fatigue sets in and loss of control of the semi-truck occurs, the opportunity to correct the movement of their 18-wheeler may come too late and at the expense of the occupants of surrounding passenger vehicles.

The difference in size between a typical passenger auto and an 18-wheeler is considerable. Commercial tractor trailers can weigh up to 30 times more than a standard automobile with a far greater clearance over other cars. A 2015 study indicated that of all the accidents involving 18-wheelers and automobiles, almost 70 percent of the injured were occupants in the passenger car.

When you’re in a semi-truck or 18-wheeler accident, the insurance company for the trucking company, along with representatives of any other potentially liable parties, will rely on their staff lawyers to assess the accident and work to minimize any financial responsibility they may carry. When this happens, you want to be sure to speak with an attorney of your own who will leverage their knowledge of the law and their experience to protect your rights.

If you or a loved one has been injured or you’ve lost a loved one in an accident in San Antonio with an 18-wheeler, you don’t have to face your loss alone. The attorneys of Carabin & Shaw are ready to help you and make sure your voice is heard. Our lawyers work hard for our clients every day and make sure they get the compensation they deserve for their loss.

Your first visit with one of our lawyers is always free of charge, and we’ll never collect a penny until we win your case. For an appointment with one of our San Antonio trucking accident lawyers, call us today at 210.222.2288 or toll-free at 1.800.862.1260.

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