Tips for Avoiding Wrecks with 18-Wheelers in San Antonio

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Commercial motor vehicles and big rigs are a part of our everyday lives. We may see them on our daily work commute or on family trips. These vehicles provide a valuable service to us all, transporting goods and driving our local economy. We all know, however, that these vehicles can also be dangerous. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can reduce your risk of being in an accident with an 18-wheeler in San Antonio.

Simple Ways to Prevent Big Rig Accidents

You can’t always predict the actions of another driver, but you can control your own. Use these tips the next time you get on your local highway or truck route:

  • Don’t hit the brakes quickly unless necessary. Rapid deceleration is dangerous when you’re ahead of a big rig, as even empty ones take a long time to stop. A fully loaded semi can require 300 yards to come to a complete stop. Keep an eye on the road ahead of you and allow plenty of time to react to possible hazards.
  • If a truck is following you too closely, give them time and space to pass. Move out of the way safely and continue your way.
  • Know their blind spots. Commercial motor vehicles have pretty impressive mirrors, but they still have blind spots – in fact, their blinds spot are much larger than typical vehicles. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you cannot see their mirrors, they cannot see you. It’s always a good idea to assure a safe following distance, especially behind a semi.
  • Don’t tailgate. Tailgating is dangerous for the reasons listed above, but also because it prevents you from seeing road signs, traffic lights, and other things necessary for safe driving. Always allow ample room between you and a large vehicle.
  • Exercise patience. Semi-trucks can travel slowly, but this is a good thing. It’s much safer for them to travel at slower speeds than it is to keep pace with smaller vehicle traffic. On the highway, travel in the faster lanes, as semis tend to keep to the slow lane. If you need to pass, wait until it’s safe to do so – a little patience could save your life.
  • Drive defensively. A trucker owes you a duty of care, but you also have a duty to drive safely on the road. Minimize distractions and concentrate on the road always, especially when you’re sharing it with a semi.
  • Use your blinker. Before making lane changes or engaging in any other activity with a driver, be as predictable as possible. This means using a blinker and waiting a moment before switching lanes. Remember, large vehicles take longer to maneuver and require more reaction time.

Sharing the road with semi-trucks may seem like second nature, but’s it’s important to keep your guard up. By driving defensively, remaining visible, and allowing them plenty of time to react on the road, you can make your commute safer. Do your part to prevent trucking wrecks in San Antonio by observing these tips.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:00 pm

What Are the Most Dangerous Intersections in San Antonio?

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Intersections are some of the most common locations for automobile, bicycle and pedestrian collisions. Intersections are inherently dangerous places where different types and directions of traffic cross paths.

In 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation reported 15,843 serious injuries and 3,610 deaths in traffic accidents. Many of these collisions took place in some of Texas’ most dangerous intersections. Avoid San Antonio’s deadliest intersections to decrease your risk of getting into an auto accident. If a loved one died in a car accident case, contact our Wrongful Death Attorneys here in San Antonio

Top 10 Most Dangerous Intersections in San Antonio

According to a San Antonio Express News report, at least 25 intersections in the city consistently show a high number of collisions. This includes pedestrian collisions, which took 660 lives throughout Texas in 2019. Bexar County reports some of the highest numbers of intersection accidents in the state each year. According to the news report, the top 10 most dangerous intersections in San Antonio based on the number of collisions per year are:

  1. I-10 and Loop 1604
  2. Northwest Loop 410 and I-10
  3. S. 281 and I-35
  4. West Loop 1604 North and Highway 16
  5. Northeast Loop 410 and I-35
  6. North Loop 1604 East and I-35
  7. Alamo Ranch Parkway and Westwood Loop
  8. Northeast Loop 410 and Walzem Road
  9. Northwest Loop 410 and Wurzbach Road
  10. Northwest Loop 410 and San Pedro Avenue

Many different issues can make an intersection more dangerous than others. These include poor or unsafe roadway designs, lack of proper traffic signals or markings, confusing pedestrian crosswalks, an increased risk of speeding or drunk driving, a higher amount of pedestrian traffic, no designated left-turn lane, no left-turn signal, and congested traffic at peak hours.

How to Stay Safe at Dangerous Intersections

If possible, take an alternate route to avoid having to pass through the most dangerous intersections in San Antonio. If you must drive through these intersections, be proactive in keeping yourself safe – especially as a bicyclist or pedestrian, as you are at the greatest risk of suffering serious injuries in a collision.

The most common causes of intersection accidents include:

  • Driver inattention
  • Not looking before turning or proceeding into the intersection
  • Turning with an obstructed view of the road
  • Running a red light
  • Making an illegal turn
  • Distracted driving
  • Misjudging the distance or speed of other vehicles

Never assume other drivers are paying attention or obeying roadway rules. Instead, drive defensively by assuming the opposite. Be aware of your surroundings while crossing through an intersection. Maintain a safe speed and prepare to hit the brakes at any given moment. Never drive, bike or walk while distracted. Stay vigilant, pay attention, obey traffic laws and yield the right-of-way to others when applicable.

What to Do If You Get Injured in an Intersection Accident

Some intersection accidents are not within your power to prevent. You cannot control the actions of other drivers. If you get into an intersection accident in San Antonio, Texas, stay calm and call the police to report the wreck. Do not admit fault for the collision while giving the police officer your side of the story. If the crash involves any injuries, request an ambulance.

Collect evidence while still at the scene of the intersection accident, if it is safe to do so. Take photographs of the wrecked vehicles and other details at the scene, such as traffic signs and road markings. Go to a hospital in San Antonio immediately for professional medical care. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and obtain copies of your medical records. Then, contact a car accident attorney for help.

An attorney can help you go up against another driver in pursuit of financial compensation from his or her insurance company. Your lawyer will have experience handling intersection accident claims and can guide you through complicated legal processes. Contact a lawyer today for help with your claim.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 1:09 pm

How Effective Are Roadside Inspections of Commercial Trucks?

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The commercial trucking industry is an enormous, complex system that is imperative to the U.S. economy. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) strives to regulate this industry, enacting rules that companies and drivers must obey to increase the safety of everyone on the roadways. Roadside inspections are one of many strategies in place to improve the safety of commercial trucking. Unfortunately, not every effort works as well as regulators would hope. Here’s a look at the effectiveness of roadside inspections in Texas.

What Happens During a Roadside Inspection?

Roadside inspections are largely part of state-run systems, with trained and certified vehicle safety inspectors stationed at unannounced inspection stops. The FMCSA financially supports statewide inspections through annual grant programs. The FMCSA’s National Training Center handles inspector training programs throughout the country, certifying new inspectors and giving certificates in areas of expertise. The state of Texas is in charge of ensuring its safety inspections comply with federal regulations.

Any commercial truck or bus that passes an active inspection station is required by law to stop and comply with the process. The inspectors will look at the driver’s license and documents, the cargo, any hazardous materials, the condition of the truck, and other factors during the inspection. If any truck fails a safety inspection, it will receive an out-of-service order. These trucks cannot continue their scheduled drives until someone remedies the issue. Similarly, commercial drivers with regulation violations will not be able to continue driving.

Traffic enforcement programs are also in place to improve trucking safety. During this process, a law enforcement officer may pull over a truck for a moving violation. The officer then has the right to conduct a roadside inspection of the driver and vehicle. Any sign of unsafe driving or operations can result in an out-of-service order. The FMCSA continues its inspection programs, initiatives, and efforts in the hopes that they will catch safety violations before they result in accidents.

Inspection Effectiveness By the Numbers

The FMCSA developed a tool called the Roadside Intervention Effectiveness Model (RIEM) to gauge the effectiveness of roadside inspections. This system analyzes the results of annual roadside inspection data and concludes how many lives may have been saved. The most recent data available from RIEM is from 2012. The facts from the 2012 RIEM analysis are as follows:

  • Roadside inspections prevented 8,721 accidents, saved 285 lives, and prevented 5,341 injuries.
  • Traffic enforcement inspections prevented 5,703 crashes, saved 187 lives, and prevented 3,492 injuries.
  • In total, roadside inspections prevented almost 9,000 injuries in more than 14,000 crashes in 2012.

Despite allegedly preventing accidents, Texas’ current roadside inspection system does not consistently screen vehicles or drivers. This results in a fraction of commercial trucks being dangerous to operate at any moment on the state’s highways. This is a frightening reality for other drivers in Texas. After a trucking accident, one of the first steps should be to investigate the truck and driver involved for potential safety violations. Any type of infraction could have contributed to the crash, such as an unsafe load, unsecured hazardous materials, or a driver operating despite an out-of-service order. In these events, injured victims may be able to sue the trucking company for negligence.

It’s critical to hire a no-win-no fee truck accident lawyer if you’ve been injured in an 18 wheeler accident. Call us today for a free no obligation case review and consultation.

Posted by Aaron Herbert at 10:08 pm