On Sunday, March 22, 2020, a tractor-trailer sped towards the I-35 checkpoint near Laredo. The driver couldn't control his speed to slow the large vehicle in time, and it crashed into the back of a Ford SUV. The accident happened in a lane designated for passenger cars only.
The driver of the semi-truck was not injured. However, the driver of the SUV was taken to the hospital with injuries. The truck came to a halt after hitting a cement barrier and several yellow poles. Fortunately, no border patrol agents were harmed when the crash happened. But all of the vehicles headed north on I-35 near the checkpoint were rerouted.
The question is this – why would someone driving a semi-truck speed towards the checkpoint? And furthermore, why would he try to squeeze his vehicle through a lane designated for passenger vehicles?
This incident happened around the same time that U.S. ports were shutting down, and demands for medical supplies, food, and toiletries were increasing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Was the driver of this 18-wheeler under pressure to meet a deadline? Was he new and inexperienced? No further details have surfaced about this accident. Still, it happened shortly after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an emergency declaration providing hours of service and other regulatory relief to commercial truck drivers. This change in restrictions affects the number of consecutive hours a trucker can drive, and it also loosens the rules for new drivers.
While the trucking industry plays a vital role in transporting much-needed supplies and goods across the country, it still must practice safety precautions, even if the rules are relaxed. Statistics show that most deaths that occur from large truck accidents are the passenger vehicle occupants. Only 16 percent of the time are the semi-truck occupants killed in an accident involving another vehicle. This makes sense as they often weigh 20 to 30 times as much as passenger vehicles.
Truck drivers and the companies who employ them must not exploit these relaxed rules for profit. When they do, they run the risk of injuring or even causing the death of other drivers on the road. And they must be held accountable for their actions. If you've been injured in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, you may be entitled to compensation.
DeSouza Law Firm is a leading personal injury firm representing accident victims throughout Texas.
If you've been injured by a car, truck, 18 wheeler, company vehicle, or in the oilfield, call DeSouza Injury Lawyers today at 361-799-2222 or visit the firm online at https://jfdlawfirm.com/.