Have you noticed that the days when people enjoyed taking long, leisurely rides along Texas roadways and others throughout the nation have faded away? Perhaps your life is simply too busy to have time for joy rides or, like many people, you may avoid such activities because Texas highways have become extremely dangerous places. Long ago, a typical American landscape included young couples or families riding along the road with convertible tops down, enjoying their Sunday drives.
Nowadays, you may feel like your life is at risk during your commute to work when massive big rigs travel at high speeds and drivers do not always adhere to traffic regulations. Because of their weight and size, tractor-trailers are inherently more dangerous than other vehicles. If a big rig slams into your car, chances are you will suffer moderate to severe injuries. In fact, many such collisions result in fatalities, causing spouses, children and other family members tremendous grief when innocent lives are lost in situations that were preventable.
Tractor-trailer factors that place you at risk
You have no way of knowing how long the trucker near you on the road has been on the road without sleep. Do you know there are regulations set by federal law that govern how many consecutive hours truck drivers may stay behind the wheel? The following facts may be useful to help you avoid tractor-trailer dangers in Texas or elsewhere:
- Federal hours of service regulations state that tractor-trailer drivers must pull off the road to rest after 11 consecutive hours behind the wheel.
- Even though such laws exist, there's no guarantee the truck driver near you is following the rules. Driver fatigue comes in as a top causal factor in many tractor-trailer accidents. If you suffer an injury because a trucker was more concerned about covering more miles in less time to make more money, there's no reason you should bear the financial burden his or her negligence caused.
- Tractor-trailers often weigh 20-30 times more than the average passenger vehicle. This is one of many reasons collisions with big rigs often result in catastrophic injury. The force of impact is tremendously heavy when a large truck hits a small car.
- Big rigs also sit higher off the ground than most cars. In collisions, this often results in under-riding, which is when a car lands underneath a tractor-trailer.
- The type of load a truck hauls and the weight of that load are other factors bound to regulation. Any deviation from the rules places you and all other travelers at risk.
In the near aftermath of a collision, your greatest priority is obtaining medical attention. Beyond that, however, you may have many other needs associated with the incident. For instance, your vehicle may need repair or replaced altogether. You might need daily living assistance if you have suffered temporary or permanent disability. You might also experience serious financial strain, especially if you have to take a lot of time off work in recovery.
Support options available
Many Florida accident victims hire in-home nurses to assist them in recovery. When emotional trauma takes a toll, it also helps to reach out to a licensed counselor or support group to help with PTSD and other accident consequences. Many people also pursue justice against those deemed liable for their injuries as well.