Truck drivers have a legal duty to drive safely and prudently. They must obey stringent federal laws in terms of truck inspections, cargo loading, braking techniques, rest breaks and more. Breaching any of these rules or regulations, either negligently or intentionally, could cause a deadly truck accident. In 2017, fatal accidents in the U.S. involved 4,657 large trucks. Keeping an eye out for reckless truck drivers in Texas could help you avoid a serious accident. Always keep your distance from a reckless trucker and call 911 to report the issue if you see the warning signs. If you were the victim of a big rig accident, speak to a Dallas truck accident attorney to learn about your options.
No commercial truck should ever exceed the posted speed limits in Texas. Speed limits vary state to state but should be clearly posted alongside the roadway. Some highways have different maximum speeds for passenger cars and commercial trucks. Texas has some of the highest speed limits for truckers (up to 85 miles per hour), but truck drivers should still not exceed a speed that is reasonable and prudent for driving conditions. This may mean slowing down considerably lower than the posted limits in bad weather.
A speeding truck driver may be engaging in this dangerous practice due to road rage or to meet a tight deadline. There is no excuse, however, for reckless truck driving.
It is extremely dangerous for a commercial big rig to tailgate or ride close to the bumpers of other vehicles. This is one of the common causes of truck accidents. Large trucks require more time to come to complete stops than smaller passenger cars, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions. Prudent truck drivers remain a safe distance away from the vehicles they are following to prevent these accidents.
When a big rig crashes into the back of a smaller vehicle, the collision can be fatal for the occupants in the car. The big rig’s tires may ride up over the back of the passenger car (an override accident) in a way that crushes the vehicle and the passengers inside. If not, the impact could crush the smaller vehicle or send it colliding into other cars or careening into oncoming traffic. If you see a truck driver tailgating another driver, this is a reckless driving behavior that could cause a fatal accident.
Unsafe lane changes are a significant cause of fatal truck accidents. It is a truck driver’s responsibility to safely and prudently switch lanes when it is safe to do so, only after signaling the intent to merge and waiting until the lane is clear. No Zones (significant blind spots) can make it difficult for a truck driver to tell whether a lane is clear before merging. Truck drivers must take extra caution while keeping this fact in mind.
If you notice a large truck weaving between lanes of traffic, changing lanes excessively, passing people using the shoulder of the road, honking to force other drivers out of its way, cutting other drivers off or merging on top of other vehicles, the driver is guilty of reckless driving. These are reckless driving behaviors that could lead to a serious sideswipe accident, underride collision or override collision.
Violating any traffic law is a sign of reckless driving in a trucker. One of the most common signs of a bad or dangerous truck driver is red-light running. If you see a trucker run a red light or roll through a stop sign, you have witnessed reckless driving. Make a note of the trucking company’s name and the registration number of the truck (posted on all truck cabs). Call the trucking company to issue a complaint about a dangerous driver. If the reckless truck driver appears to be putting other people’s lives in danger, call 911 to report the incident as well. Hire an attorney to help you prove your case if you get into a crash with a truck driver you suspect of reckless driving.