Speed limitations on certain CMVs may help prevent serious truck accidents
The semi-truck driving next to you on the highway could be required to use speed-limiting technology in the near future.
Speeding is increasingly a factor in deadly truck accidents, according to federal data. From 2009 to 2019, fatal truck crashes involving speeding jumped by 50 percent.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is gathering community input on whether speed-limiting technology could reduce truck accidents and crash fatalities. The FMCSA also wants to know what related regulations, like top speed limit and fleet requirements, would help make roadways in Texas and across the nation safer.
The rule was first proposed in 2016. At the time, the top speeds discussed included 60 mph, 65 mph, and 68 mph. The FSCMA did not propose a speed limit in its most recent request for information.
Henderson County truck accidents
Safety advocates say speed-limiting technology is needed now more than ever due to the risk of severe injury and death caused by wrecks involving tractor-trailers. Typically, the faster an 18-wheeler is moving at the time of impact, the more severe the injuries will be.
Semi-trucks were involved in 414 fatal truck accidents in Texas in 2020. At least two of the deadly wrecks happened in Henderson County. Countywide, there were four other truck accidents that caused serious injuries that year.
When crashes aren't fatal, common truck accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and head trauma, such as a concussion or a fractured skull.
- Broken bones, especially in the pelvis, upper arm, spine, and collarbone.
- Whiplash and other severe neck injuries
- Paralysis or nerve damage that reduces control of motion and body functions.
- Burn injuries that may result in scarring and/or disfigurement.
- Facial injuries, which may require reconstructive surgery and other operations.
Keep in mind that the more severe your injuries are, the more money it will cost to treat them. And when you've been seriously injured, expenses can add up quickly. That's why if you were injured or a loved one died in a Texas truck wreck, you should talk to an experienced truck accident lawyer about your legal rights and options.
You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, your pain and suffering, and other losses—but only an attorney will be able to determine the full cost of your accident and advocate for the compensation you're entitled to.
What causes truck accidents?
Speed limiting technology would address a major contributing factor to truck crashes, but there are many more ways for a semi to wreck. Truck accidents happen for all types of reasons, including:
- Cargo shift - If the truck's cargo isn't loaded properly, is too heavy or is unbalanced, the cargo can shift and cause the tractor-trailer to jackknife or rollover.
- Distracted driving - It takes an exceptional amount of training, experience, and skill to safely operate an 18-wheeler, but even the best truckers are at risk of causing a wreck if they aren't giving their full attention to the road ahead. Distracted truckers are often responsible for rear-end truck accidents because they fail to stop in time and crash into the back of other vehicles.
- Inexperience. Again, truckers are professional drivers who are responsible for driving big rigs that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Inexperienced and/or unqualified drivers often don't know how to adjust to hazards, are more prone to making mistakes (e.g., braking too abruptly, making wide turns, oversteering, etc.), and are more likely to cause a serious truck accident.
- Drunk driving. Truckers are held to a higher standard than other motorists, which is why a commercial truck driver is considered legally drunk with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .04 or higher. For regular motorists, the legal limit is .08.
- Defective or poorly maintained equipment. Truck tire blowouts, defective tires, and truck brake failure are among the most common causes of truck accidents due to defective equipment or poor maintenance.
A truck accident attorney can protect your rights
It doesn't matter what type of truck accident you were injured in - a rollover accident, jackknife crash, T-bone, rear-end, underride, or another type of wreck. Victims of Texas truck accidents deserve maximum compensation for their injuries and losses. Getting the compensation you deserve, however, is more complicated when a commercial vehicle is involved.
There are a lot of potentially liable parties in a truck accident, including the trucking company, the owner of the truck, the cargo owner, parts manufacturers, and other third parties—and they all have attorneys to protect their interests.
At Weinstein Law, we can help you make it a fair fight. Attorney Jeff Weinstein has developed the nuanced skill set needed to investigate truck accidents and build strong cases for maximum compensation.
If you were injured in a truck accident in Athens, Henderson County, or somewhere else in East Texas, contact us today to schedule a free case consultation. We look forward to seeing how we can help with your potential legal case.