Austin Truck Accident Lawyers
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Thousands of individuals in Texas are injured or suffer wrongful death in trucking accidents every year. If you or someone you love was injured by a semi-truck, speak with one of the Austin truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group as soon as possible. Getting an attorney early on can ensure evidence is not lost, common mistakes are not made, and that a claim is filed before the statute of limitation runs out.
CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS IN AUSTIN
On October 21, 2020, there was an unfortunate accident in Austin near Lake Travis, where a Suburban collided with a truck towing a semi-trailer. The driver of the Suburban was sadly pronounced dead at the scene. At this time, the cause of the crash remains under investigation.
There are many possible causes of a trucking accident. Some of the more common causes are as follows:
- Tired driver: Drivers who do not take the time to get sufficient sleep or do not follow the federal regulations regarding rest hours.
- Defective trucks: When there is a defective or poorly maintained part in the truck, like faulty tires or breaks, it can cause an accident.
- Negligent driver: A driver who uses his cell phone, drives while under the influence, or even has his attention on the passengers creates a danger for those around him on the road.
ACCIDENTS INVOLVING TRUCKS: STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
A collision involving a semi-truck is likely to be much worse than with a regular automobile due to their substantial size and weight. Drivers in Austin must be aware of how dangerous trucks can be and the devastating injuries they can inflict in an accident. Texas is frequently listed among the top five states for fatal truck accidents, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducts studies each year to provide statistical analysis of traffic collisions and truck accidents in the United States. For the year 2019, NHTSA found that around 5,005 fatalities from large truck accidents were recorded nationwide.
The Texas Department of Transportation found that there were 39,193 crashes in Texas involving a commercial motor vehicle in 2019. Of those crashes, there were:
- 543 fatal crashes,
- 613 total fatalities,
- 1,124 suspected serious crashes,
- 1,471 suspected serious injuries,
- 5,639 possible injury crashes; and
- 8,937 possible injuries.
Of the total 39,193 Texas crashes, Austin accounted for:
- 75 total crashes,
- 1 fatal crash,
- 1 fatality,
- 4 suspected serious crashes,
- 6 suspected serious injuries
- 10 possible injury crashes; and
- 11 possible injuries.
To learn more about truck accidents and the statistics involving accidents, get a free consultation from a Zinda Austin semi-truck accident lawyer today. We may help you recover compensation if you have been injured in a semi-truck accident in the Austin area.
Read More: Wrongful Death in Trucking Accident Cases
TRAFFIC LAWS FOR TRUCKS IN AUSTIN
The following are examples of Texas traffic laws and how they may impact liability in your case.
Trucks are prohibited on certain streets in Austin. If you were hurt in a truck accident on a street that is marked as prohibited to trucks, the truck driver may be held liable for your injuries.
Safe Following Distance
It is important to keep a safe distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. A safe distance allows for enough stopping time and time to make well-planned decisions while driving. Large trucks need additional space, as they take longer to slow down than a typical vehicle. If you are driving below 40 mph, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends leaving one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For speeds over 40 mph, it is recommended you leave one additional second.
According to Texas law, an operator of a vehicle shall maintain an “assured clear distance” from the vehicle in front of it. This means you should take multiple factors into consideration when driving, such as the speed of the vehicles and road conditions, so that you are able to safely stop your vehicle without colliding with the vehicle in front of you.
If you are hurt in an accident with a truck who was not maintaining an assured clear distance from you, the truck driver may be liable for your injuries.
Read More: Speeding Accidents
Passing Vulnerable Road Users
In Texas, there are certain laws you must follow when passing vulnerable road users. Examples of vulnerable road users include:
- Pedestrians, including runners, skaters, construction workers, or stranded motorists,
- A person on horseback,
When the operator of a car or light truck is passing these road users, the operator must maintain at least three feet of space between the vehicle and the road user. In contrast, if the vehicle is a truck or commercial vehicle, the operator must maintain six feet of space between the vehicle and the road user.
If you were considered a vulnerable road user and were injured by a truck that failed to maintain six feet of space between yourself and the truck, the truck driver may be liable for your injuries.
NATIONAL TRAFFIC LAWS
There are also national laws that trucks must follow that may also be useful in determining liability in your case. Other national laws include:
Commercial Driver’s License
A truck driver is required to maintain a commercial driver’s license to operate a truck. If you are in an accident with a truck and the driver does not have a proper, up-to-date commercial driver’s license, it may show the driver was not physically or mentally capable of operating the truck. This may help in your personal injury case.
Vehicle Weight Standards
There are national weight standards that apply to commercial vehicles. These standards are put in place for the safety of both the truck driver and all other motorists. If you were injured by a truck that exceeded these maximum standards, the truck driver may be liable. These maximum weight standards are:
- Single Axle: 20,000 pounds
- Tandem Axle: 34,000 pounds
- Gross Vehicle Weight: 80,000 pounds
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all commercial drivers to keep a logbook, documenting all of their driving hours. The FMCSA restricts the hours a commercial driver can log to keep the drivers from being overworked or fatigued. If you were involved in an accident with a truck whose driver did not keep an adequate logbook or logged too many hours, the driver may be liable for your injuries.
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS AND LAWS IN AUSTIN
There are thousands of pedestrian injuries and crashes each year in Texas. In 2019, there were 5,952 total pedestrian crashes in Texas alone. Of those crashes, there were:
- 656 fatal crashes
- 660 fatalities
- 1,260 suspected serious injuries
- 1,954 possible injuries
The Austin police estimate that in 2019, two out of every five people killed on the city’s roads were on foot. One major cause of these deaths was pedestrians crossing roads without a crosswalk. Officials believe one reason these pedestrians are crossing the road because they are hungry and see a restaurant. Although finding a crosswalk may take more time, it is for your safety and wellbeing to find one. With the increase in population and technology, there are many distracted drivers on the road who may not see you if you are crossing roads without a crosswalk.
To combat these accidents, Austin’s Transportation Department is increasing the number of midblock crossings with traffic lights, as well as extending the amount of time pedestrians have at certain crosswalks.
There are also state ordinances in place to prevent pedestrian and bike accidents with vehicles. Below are examples of Texas traffic restrictions:
Driving in Bicycle Lane
A motorist may not drive in, on, or across a bicycle lane. There are, however, certain exceptions to this law, such as to enter a driveway, parking space, or bus stop.
Obstructing Intersection or Crosswalk
A driver may not enter an intersection or a marked crosswalk unless there is enough space on the other side of the crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle without obstructing the crosswalk.
For your safety, always cross the road at crosswalks. Further, if you or a loved one has been injured by a driver who may have failed to follow the state ordinances, call a Zinda Law Group truck accident attorney today.
GET HELP FROM OUR AUSTIN TRUCKING ACCIDENT LAWYERS
The Austin 18-wheeler lawyers at Zinda Law Group may inform you of your rights and what to do following an accident with an 18-wheeler. Our truck accident lawyers may help you collect evidence, establish liability, deal with the insurance companies, and litigate on your behalf. We have experience in truck accident investigations and are prepared to take on your case.
At Zinda Law Group, we strive to provide excellent legal representation, and you pay nothing unless we can win your trucking injury case. We are dedicated to our clients and may fight to protect your rights. Our mission is to help people obtain justice and full compensation they deserve after an injury from a truck accident.
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