As reported by the Montgomery County Courier, a very informative news provider for the Conroe area, an 18-wheeler collision made the news today.
As reported, a man was sent to the Conroe Regional Medical Center with injuries after a crash with a big rig on Texas 105 in Conroe, Texas. The truck crash involved a truck driver who allegedly lost control of the vehicle when hitting the brakes for a red light.
Tractor-trailers are very susceptible to jackknife type accidents when the tractor is traveling at a speed different from the trailer. Sudden braking or sudden steering input can easily result in the trailer is spinning out and crossing traveled portion of the highway in certain circumstances.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that over 10% of all fatal semi-truck crashes involve jackknifing. Accident reconstruction experts generally state that when the trailer gets beyond a 15° angle to the plane of the cab, a point of no return is reached and a crash is inevitable.
For this reason, the importance of safety training for the professional truck driver cannot be overstated. Some professional driving schools have specific courses on anti-jackknifing that include accident avoidance, hydroplaning and controlled braking techniques among other instruction.
While the Federal Safety Regulations require a road test and other evidence of competency for a commercial drivers license, the old saying that “there is no substitute for experience” applies with respect to preventing jackknife accidents. Very few motor carriers require a specific jackknife avoidance class in their ongoing safety programs for their fleet.
The crash site was investigated by Conroe police officers who will make the determination as to the cause or causes of the truck wreck as noted in their official crash report, when the report is finished.
As with many big truck accidents, the crash resulted in a spill on the traveled portion of the highway which must be dealt with prior to opening the roadway. Whether diesel fuel or other synthetic liquids, spills on the highway can be extremely dangerous to unsuspecting motorist should they hit a patch of spilled fuel on the highway. Diesel fuel or hydraulic fuel spilled on the road can act like ice for the unsuspecting motorist ( by preventing the tires from making good contact with the roadway) and spills require extensive cleanup efforts by local officials prior to opening the highway.
Houston has had a rash of truck accidents where fuel was spilled on the highway and the highway needed to be shut down for several hours while HAZMAT crews worked to clean up the spills.
There was no information regarding the injuries sustained by the driver whose vehicle collided with the tractor-trailer other than the statement that the injuries were not life threatening. Photos of the accident can be viewed by clicking here.
The report also indicated that the driver of the semi – truck appeared to have also sustained some level of injury. Let us hope both the driver of the passenger car and the truck driver recover from their injuries quickly.
If you have been involved in an accident with an 18 wheeler and would like to speak with an experienced attorney, call us for a consultation regarding your rights and options.
About Greg Baumgartner