Sharing the road with 18 wheelers may, to some, be an everyday reality of the road. These large trucks play an essential role in our economy, especially in states such as Texas where trucks carry millions of gallons of oil per year. The average semi truck and trailer is 70 to 80 feet long – 4 of them end to end make a football field.
One thing people rarely consider is the qualifications of the drivers of these 18 wheelers. It can be extremely difficult to maneuver a 40 ton vehicle, so drivers must past a variety of tests before hitting the road. Attaining a commercial Drivers License is the first step, and requires the driver pass a written test on general knowledge, air brakes, and combination vehicles. Truck driving school and the truck driving skills exam are also required before one can be legally authorized to operate an 18 wheeler.
Despite all this training the Texas Department of Transportation reported that, in 2012, there were 389 fatal crashes involving a semi-trailer throughout the state, as well as 133 fatal crashes involving a truck (distinguished from “pickup truck”). These crashes can leave victims injured and overwhelmed. According to the Dallas personal injury lawyers at the Benton Law Firm, truck drivers are often fatigued while driving multi-state routes and despite all safety precautions, can sometimes cause traumatic accidents.
In a truck collision case, the qualifications of the driver, their training, education, experience, traffic violations, physical attributes and mental status are relevant and extremely important. In the immediate aftermath of the accident details are freshest in the victim’s mind, making this the ideal time to make a truck collision claim. Insurance companies require a huge amount of information to do their job, so drivers should be prepared to give a detailed account of the incident to the insurance adjustor.