If you are like most in San Antonio, then there has probably been a time or two when, after a long day at work or hectic night at home, you have felt a little drowsy behind the wheel. When you are driving tired, your reaction times can slow almost to the point of you being considered impaired. Maintaining control of your vehicle can be extremely difficult in such situations. Yet if it is difficult for you, imagine how much more it may for one driving an enormous semi-truck. Many of the clients that we here at The Law Offices of Miller & Bicklein, P.C. have worked with have had to learn firsthand just how dangerous drowsy truck drivers can be.
Passenger vehicles practically drive themselves these days, with automatic braking and parallel parking systems, cruise control, and warnings and alerts for almost any danger on the Texas roadways. But what about large trucks?
The responsibility for sharing the roads in Texas belongs to all motorists, including both passenger vehicle drivers and large truck operators. According to GTG Technology Group, when an accident involving a truck and a passenger vehicle is due to driver error, data shows that truckers are far less likely to be at fault. Because they are in the larger vehicle and less vulnerable in a collision, truck drivers should use defensive driving techniques to prevent someone else's mistake from being fatal.
You may have a hard time staying healthy if you work long hours or sit for hours at a time at your job in Texas, or if you have trouble sleeping. The truck driver next to you may be going through the same struggle. As Science Daily points out, most over-the-road truck drivers suffer from these circumstances and more. However, their health may be directly linked to their job performance - and your safety.
Texas roadways are full of tractor trailers carrying goods from one end of the country to the other. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that the 5 million commercial vehicle operators have considerable responsibilities that go beyond those of the 250 million motorists in passenger vehicles. That is why this government agency is committed to holding large truck operators accountable for safety issues and their correction.
When a passenger vehicle in Texas collides with any part of a large truck, the results can be deadly. The higher ground clearance of the truck typically prevents the bumper of a car from stopping the forward motion, allowing it to travel under the trailer. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has proven the effectiveness of underride guards on the backs of semi-trailers in preventing many rear-end collisions from becoming fatalities.
It is not unusual for you to encounter semi-trucks with two or even three trailers on the Texas roadways. The couplings that link these vehicles are visible, but there may soon be large trucks crossing the state that are connected solely through technology. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute provided a demonstration to the Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration that indicates how the truck platooning system works.
Truck operators must undergo extensive training to receive a commercial driver’s license and be cleared to begin hauling heavy loads across Texas. According to Trucking Truth, when a truck pulls more than one trailer at a time, the operator of this longer combination vehicle must undergo extra training to learn to compensate for the challenges that are unique to these configurations.
As you transport petroleum products in Texas and across the country, your responsibility while driving a cargo tank truck full of hazardous materials is much higher than that of other drivers. Not only does the size and weight of your commercial vehicle pose an increased risk to smaller vehicles on the road, your cargo may create its own hazards. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides statistics and warnings to help you minimize the chances of rolling your tank truck.
There are so many tractor trailers on the Texas roadways, you may take their presence for granted. When you see a traffic situation ahead and a large truck behind you, or you notice a trailer beside you swaying, you may begin to question how safe they really are. According to Trucking Info, if there is a camera in the cab of that commercial vehicle, you may have less cause to worry.