Dallas semi crash a near-miss for driver trapped in flaming cab
A semi driver lost control of his truck on a Dallas freeway recently and narrowly escaped with his life, according to NBC news. Around 4 a.m. on January 9, an 18-wheeler went through a guardrail and crossed several lanes of traffic on southbound I-35 near downtown Dallas before crashing into concrete barrier and bursting into flames. The driver, who was trapped in the burning cab, was rescued by a passing motorist who stopped to help.
Incredibly, no one was seriously injured in the crash. However, many people involved in large truck accidents on Texas highways are not so lucky. Due to their enormous size and weight, semi-trailers can cause far more destruction in a collision than typical passenger vehicles. In fact, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, while large trucks accounted for just 4 percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S., they made up 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal traffic accidents in 2008.
Driver Safety Tips to Avoid Truck Accidents
Weighing up to 40 tons, semi-trailers are roughly 16 times the size of an average passenger vehicle. With this in mind, it may come as no surprise that passenger vehicle occupants are much more likely than truck drivers to be injured in collisions between trucks and cars. In fact, according to NHTSA data, passenger vehicle occupants account for roughly three-quarters of all injuries and deaths caused by collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles.
Preventing accidents is a responsibility shared by all drivers, and there are a number of things to keep in mind when driving near large trucks to help reduce the risk of collision:
- Be alert. Trucks behave very differently from other vehicles and drivers should use extra caution when approaching them on the road.
- Avoid blind spots. Keep away from the blind spots around large trucks – if you can’t see the truck’s side mirrors, the driver can’t see you.
- Do not cut trucks off. Remember that semi-trailers and other large trucks need a great deal more distance to stop than smaller vehicles, so take care not to cut in front of a truck for any reason.
- Do not pass while a truck is turning. Semi-trucks need a lot of extra space to maneuver around corners, especially when turning to the right, and they often must occupy both lanes of traffic to complete a turn. Therefore, it is dangerous to attempt to pass on either side of a large truck while it is turning.
- Leave extra space. Many severe injuries and deaths occur when passenger cars collide with trucks from the rear. To prevent accidents of this type, give trucks at least four to six seconds of space when traveling at highway speeds, particularly in wet conditions.
People who are injured or suffer the loss of a loved one due to truck accidents in Texas are often able to receive compensation for their injuries, medical expenses and other losses. To learn more about seeking compensation after a Texas truck accident, contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your area.