According to KSAT, an 18-wheeler carrying broccoli and okra caught fire on I-35 at Loop 410 in San Antonio. The truck was headed for Tennessee when it hit a discarded mattress on the interstate and then caught fire. Another driver noticed the fire and told the driver who was able to pull over and get out. With no fire hydrants close, firefighters had problems putting the fire out. No injuries were reported.
Truckers have such great loads they carry, they often cannot quickly move when something like a mattress is in the way. They are professional drivers and do the best they can. It’s a great thing that the driver or anyone else did not get injured in this situation, but so many times, truckers are injured with their trucks.
This accident also speaks to the great dangers that can come from human dumping of any household items on any busy roadway. In spite of higher fines and stricter laws regarding illegal dumping, this still exists as a dangerous problem for Texas drivers.
Road Debris Can Cause Deadly Crashes
According to a report released in 2016 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road debris has caused over 200,000 auto accidents within the past four years. The study, which examined crashes between 2011 and 2014, found that road debris caused 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths in that time period.
The study also analyzed how these accidents occur.
- In 37 percent of fatal crashes, accidents occurred because a driver swerved to avoid hitting trash or debris in the road.
- One in three crashes occurred between 10:00 a.m. and 3:59 p.m., when people are more likely to be moving freight, furniture, or construction equipment on the highway.
- These types of crashes happen more often on interstates.
- Driving at a high rate of speed increases the risk of cargo or items falling from a vehicle and onto the road.
Every state in the country has a law prohibiting unsecured loads in and on vehicles. On the highway, where cars travel at comparatively high speeds, even a small piece of equipment or furniture falling from a vehicle can cause serious and fatal accidents. Individuals injured in road debris crashes may have a cause of action against the driver and, in cases where the driver was working for a freight company, the carrier who owns the truck or manages the truck operator.
Road debris isn’t just a problem of esthetics. Trash and debris in the road can cost lives. Motorists who transport cargo, equipment, or furniture have a responsibility to make sure their items are properly secured. They should use netting, straps, tie-downs, or tarps to ensure their cargo won’t shake loose or spill from the vehicle during transport. Motorists must also take care not to overload their vehicles.
Truck Aссіdеnt Statistics
Aссоrdіng tо National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Onе out оf еvеrу nіnе trаffіс fаtаlіtіеѕ іnvоlvеѕ a truсk сrаѕh еасh уеаr, nеаrlу 5,000 truсkѕ аrе іnvоlvеd іn fаtаl trаffіс ассіdеntѕ асrоѕѕ the U.S.
- Fаtаlіtіеѕ оf drіvеrѕ of lаrgе truсkѕ wаѕ оnе оf thе fеw groups that remained unсhаngеd.
- Stаtіѕtісѕ frоm thе Nаtіоnаl Center for Stаtіѕtісѕ аnd Anаlуѕіѕ (NCSA) ѕhоw thаt lаrgе соmmеrсіаl truсkѕ, аlѕо knоwn аѕ 18-wheelers, ѕеmі-truсkѕ аnd trасtоr-trаіlеrѕ, аrе rеѕроnѕіblе fоr 12 реrсеnt оf аll trаffіс fаtаlіtіеѕ, еvеn thоugh thеу аrе оnlу 3 реrсеnt of аll rеgіѕtеrеd vеhісlеѕ.
- Aссоrdіng to the Fеdеrаl Motor Cаrrіеr Safety Admіnіѕtrаtіоn, cоllіѕіоn wіth vеhісlе іn transport wаѕ recorded аѕ thе mоѕt hаrmful еvеnt fоr 73 реrсеnt оf thе lаrgе truсkѕ.
- іn 2014, 3,744 lаrgе truсkѕ wеrе іnvоlvеd іn fаtаl crashes, 88,000 wеrе іnvоlvеd іn іnjurу сrаѕhеѕ, аnd 346,000 wеrе іnvоlvеd іn property dаmаgе оnlу сrаѕhеѕ.
- Thеrе аrе rоughlу 500,000 truсkіng accidents every уеаr іn thе Unіtеd Stаtеѕ.
- An еѕtіmаtеd 5,000 оf thеѕе accidents rеѕult іn a fаtаlіtу.
- Truсk ассіdеntѕ саuѕе rоughlу 130,000 іnjurіеѕ еvеrу уеаr асrоѕѕ thе соuntrу.
- In truck ассіdеntѕ, 98 реrсеnt оf аll fаtаlіtіеѕ occur to thе drіvеr оr аnоthеr іndіvіduаl іn thе раѕѕеngеr vehicle.
- Thе аvеrаgе соѕt оf a соmmеrсіаl truck accident іѕ $59,150.
- Thеrе аrе 2.3 dеаthѕ аnd 60.5 іnjurіеѕ саuѕеd bу bіg rіgѕ fоr еvеrу 100 mіllіоn mіlеѕ drіvеn оn U.S. rоаdwауѕ.
San Antonio Lawyers
Out of nowhere, a truck’s load can shift and cause problems for the driver. A truck can randomly hit a mattress and catch on fire. A trucker can experience a ton of different and terrifying situations that can cause great problems. If you have experienced this while driving, or have been affected by a truck accident, contact our law office today for a free consultation. Let us help you in your time of need.