The most recent year for which TxDOT has statistics are 2011, and those numbers are disturbing. The fatality rate on the roads was 1.28 deaths per hundred million miles driven. This was down from 2010 and, stated in those terms, the number may not seem that high. This still means that over 3,000 people lost their lives on the roads in Texas during the last year for which there are statistics.
All vehicle crashes have the potential to turn deadly, but among the most dangerous are those involving semi trucks. For anything else on the road, semi trucks are unstoppable. Carrying a loaded trailer and travelling at freeways speeds, they are capable of destroying a car entirely if they strike it. Even when they’re moving slow, their mass means that they are far more deadly than standard passenger cars.
Avoiding the Risk
There are some things you can do to keep yourself safe when you’re sharing the road with a semi truck. First and foremost, either get by it or stay behind it if you’re on a multi-lane road. Driving alongside these vehicles is very risky. They create winds that can pull and push cars next to them and any one of their 18 wheels can kick up dangerous debris and toss it into your windshield.
Make sure that you can see the driver’s mirrors when you’re behind a semi truck. If you cannot see the mirrors on the vehicle, the driver cannot see you. This is something that’s easy to remember but potential deadly if you forget it.
When you’re sharing the road with semis and they need to turn, remember not to get alongside them on the right when they’re approaching an intersection. They have to swing out to make right turns and, if you’re pinned alongside them you stand to be serious injured because of that.
Some trucking companies are downright irresponsible and end up killing people because of that. If you lose someone because of such behavior on the part of a trucking company, be sure you contact semi truck lawyers. Even though the driver or the company may face criminal charges, you can sue them for compensation and stand to win enough to help pay for the emotional and financial expenses these accidents cause people. A good lawyer can help you understand your rights and, if they believe that you have a good case, they may want to represent you in court.
RASANSKY LAW FIRM
2525 McKinnon Street
Dallas, Texas 75201