Semi-trucks, also known as 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers, are common on Texas highways. These massive vehicles are crucial in transporting goods across the state and beyond. As a matter of fact, 70% of US goods are hauled using semi trucks, and of 1.9 million semi trucks in the U.S., 30 % are registered in Texas, Florida, and California. If you have ever wondered about the facts you should know about semi trucks in Texas, keep reading to find out. From their size and weight to the importance of consulting a lawyer in certain situations, let us explore key elements of these mighty machines.
Size and Weight
One of the eye-catching elements when encountering a semi-truck is its immense size. Semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded, which is the maximum weight limit on most highways in Texas. These trucks’ sheer size and weight require specialized knowledge and skills to operate safely, as accidents involving semi trucks can be catastrophic. Truck drivers must undergo rigorous training and have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Engines Designed to Run Non-Stop
You probably know that semi-trucks run on diesel, but did you know their engines can run non-stop? However, even though they can operate continuously for extended periods does not necessarily imply that they should do so, as this can lead to engine problems.
Semi Trucks Have Up to 18 Gears
Operating a semi-truck requires mastery of a complex transmission system. These vehicles can have up to 18 gears, allowing drivers to slow down and speed up in different terrains efficiently.
The Trucking Industry is Heavily Regulated
The size and weight of semi-trucks make accidents involving them particularly catastrophic and hazardous. This is one of the factors contributing to stringent regulations imposed on the trucking industry. Federal, state, and local governments closely regulate trucking to ensure the safety of roads across the United States.
For example, truck drivers must undergo drug testing before employment and at random intervals during their careers. Additionally, federal regulations govern the number of hours a truck driver can be on duty and behind the wheel to prevent fatigue-related accidents.
Speed Limits of Semi-Trucks in Texas
While speed limits for semi trucks vary depending on the type of road, they are generally lower than those for passenger vehicles. In the past, Texas had speed limit restrictions specifically imposed on commercial trucks and nighttime driving. These limitations, however, were removed in 2011. As a result, there are currently no specific speed limits for commercial vehicles in Texas, allowing commercial truckers to travel at speeds of up to 85 mph. However, the 85-mph speed limit applies only to a 41-mile stretch of Highway 130.
Semi Trucks Take Longer to Stop
Semi-trucks require significantly more space to come to a complete stop than regular vehicles. Due to their size and weight, semi-trucks can take up to 40% more distance to stop than smaller vehicles, and cutting off a semi-truck can have severe consequences. If you drive recklessly in front of an 18-wheeler, you cannot expect it to come to a quick stop.
Semi-trucks have large blind spots or “no-zones” around them, where the truck driver’s view is limited or obstructed. These blind spots are on both sides of the truck, behind and in front. If you cannot see the truck driver’s face in their side mirror, they most likely cannot see you. Always be cautious when driving near semi-trucks, and avoid lingering in these blind spots.
How to Handle a Truck Collision in Texas
In the unfortunate event of a semi-truck collision, taking immediate action to protect your well-being and legal rights is essential. Seek medical attention for any injuries, no matter how minor they may seem. Even seemingly insignificant injuries could have long-term consequences. Additionally, call a lawyer who specializes in truck accident cases. You should contact a lawyer, especially in situations where:
- You sustained severe injuries in the accident
- You disagree with the police report regarding the incident
- You firmly believe that the accident occurred due to negligence
- Fault in the accident is not established
Hit by a Truck Call Chuck Can Help You Pursue Compensation for Your Semi Truck Accident
If you have been involved in a semi-truck accident in Texas, contact the experienced semi-truck accident attorneys at Hit By A Truck Call Chuck today. We are experienced in handling semi-truck accidents and will work diligently to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us at 915-302-9480 to schedule your free consultation.