There are few things as frightening as being stuck on a busy highway with a disabled vehicle particularly if your car dies on you in the middle of the road. These are the exact circumstances that arose for one unhappy commuter on the last Sunday in June this year, and they were lucky to escape with their lives.
Stalled Vehicle Hit By 18-Wheeler
This past June, a Mercedes stalled out during commuting hours on Houston’s Katy Freeway. Before the driver could move the vehicle to a safer location, it was struck by an 18-wheeler. The accident shut down the westbound lanes of the Katy Highway at Dairy Ashford. Although media reports have yet to confirm any fatalities, it is suspected that the driver was killed by the impact.
A tractor-trailer loaded down with cargo can take up to 40% more distance to come to a complete stop than typical cars and trucks. They may require an even greater stopping distance when breaks are not properly maintained, or roads are slick due to rain, ice, or snow. This is partially due to the massive size of these machines. Thus, this increases the likelihood that any impact with an 18-wheeler could turn deadly.
Semi-Trucks Cause Hazards on Houston’s Highways
Semi-trucks weigh 20 to 30 times as much as a regular passenger car. They also travel with higher ground clearance, which means vehicles can slide underneath them and be crushed. As a result, if your vehicle is struck by an 18-wheeler, you would be lucky if you escape with your life. But the hazards you face when semi-trucks are on the road are not solely by nature of their sheer size. In fact, many semi-truck accidents result from improper vehicle maintenance, driver fatigue, or some other preventable cause.
Federal safety regulations limit semi-truck operators to no more than 11 hours of driving without stopping to rest. However, many drivers violate these regulations to meet deadlines or make more money. This can cause an even greater risk to local commuters than mechanical failures, poor weather, or other conditions contributing to semi-truck accidents.
Semi-truck accidents are often deadly. If you or someone in your family has been injured or killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler, the skilled attorneys at Williams Hart & Boundas may be able to help. We can’t turn back time and prevent disasters like these from happening. However, we can make sure that the proper people are held accountable when tragedy does strike.
If you’ve been hurt by a semi-truck or any other type of commercial vehicle, contact us today for a free consultation. Talk to one of our skilled attorneys and let us help you get the compensation you deserve.