The number of fatalities resulting from large truck crashes is rising. According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,761 deaths related to large truck crashes in 2017. In 2016, the number was 4,369. Drivers in Texas should be aware of the dangers presented by trucks on the road as tractor-trailer accidents are often more severe than other motor vehicle crashes.
The federal government has established laws limiting how many hours commercial drivers can work at a time. Typically, drivers are limited to 14 hours on the road following a mandatory break of 10 hours. According to federal officials, electronic logging devices are meant to provide more accurate measures of work time than paper records, which used to be the primary form of record keeping.
However, the agricultural industry is partially exempted from these electronic logging requirements. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established exemptions for truck drivers who are hauling agricultural commodities like livestock. According to a spokesperson who works for the Truck Safety Coalition, 44 states nationwide have seen increases in the number of truck accident fatalities since 2009.
People who have been injured in large truck crashes might be entitled to recover for damages like pain and suffering, lost wages or medical expenses. A lawyer with experience in personal injury law might be able to help an injured party by deposing witnesses or gathering evidence to build a case for trial. A lawyer might be able to negotiate a settlement with the trucking company, truck driver and insurance agency. Legal counsel may also draft and file a complaint for recovery in civil court.