There is an abundance of truck stops all over Texas. These stops provide a place for drivers traveling long miles to rest up and fuel their vehicles. For truck drivers, it is also a place where they can get a few hours of shut eye before taking off on another long cross-country drive.
Despite their intended purpose, these rest areas pose many dangers to drivers and pedestrians. If you were injured at a truck stop and do not know what steps to take, call our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers today to discuss your claim. The consultation is free of charge with no obligation to take legal action. If you decide to work with our attorneys, there are no upfront fees while we work on your claim.
Below, we discuss what can make truck stops so dangerous.
Poor Lighting in Fort Worth Truck Stops
Truck stops are generally more dangerous at night. Dark areas make it harder for drivers and pedestrians to see each other, potentially resulting in vehicle vs pedestrian collisions.
Poor lighting may also hide certain traffic signs in the driveways or walkways of the truck stop. For example, when poor lighting reduces visibility, a driver might not see a sign identifying a one-lane driveway. Since most truck stops feed back onto the freeway, being able to see a one-way traffic sign is vital to avoiding a collision.
Some people might also have more difficulty sticking to designated walkways if the lighting is too low to see specially marked walkways for pedestrians.
But accidents involving vehicles might not be the only concern for truck stops. Trip and falls may also be common when there is poor lighting and uneven pavements.
Unkept Driveways or Parking Areas
Most truck stops are old, and upkeep from the property owner may often fall to the wayside. This lack of maintenance causes potholes and other hazards in the designated driving or walking areas. Either way, these poorly kept areas could lead to an accident. For example, a driver who swerves to avoid a pothole could crash into another vehicle or hit a pedestrian.
Overgrown trees or bushes might also obstruct a driver’s view when attempting to pull into or out of an area. They could also cover up a stop sign or other traffic signal.
During colder winter months, unkept areas might not get properly salted and black ice could form. Throughout the year, there could be multiple other weather-related hazards that could result in an accident.
Exhausted or Distracted Drivers
Distracted or tired truck drivers are the most common hazard at a truck stop. Truck drivers spend multiple hours on the road and often get little sleep in between trips. This often leads to exhaustion, which is one of the main causes of collisions with trucks. The reflexes of a tired truck driver pulling into a truck stop for the night are not as sharp as a well-rested and alert driver.
It is also important to remember that truck stops attract drivers from all over. This means the drivers in a truck stop are more likely to be unfamiliar with the area. While trying to find their way around, they may often become distracted by their GPS, looking at a map or trying to read road signs to ensure they are going in the right direction. Unfortunately, this behavior also means those drivers are paying less attention to the road. If you are another driver or pedestrian, that distracted driver could hit you.
Tired or distracted pedestrians may also pose a hazard in a truck stop. A pedestrian who is not paying attention to where he or she is going might walk straight into traffic without realizing it. Someone who is drowsy might also do the same. Especially when it is late at night.
Who May Be Liable for a Truck Stop Accident in Texas?
Liability for a truck stop accident could fall to one or more parties, depending on how the accident occurred.
The property owner could be liable for your damages if he or she failed to maintain the premises and you were injured as a result. For example, if you tripped on uneven pavement due to poor lighting, then the property owner could be liable because he or she should have replaced or repaired the lighting.
If a distracted or drowsy driver hit you, either as a pedestrian or while you were in your vehicle, the driver of the vehicle that struck you could be liable for your damages. However, you will need to prove that he or she was distracted or drowsy.
Truck drivers have a legal duty to rest a certain number of hours after driving for an extended period. If you can prove an employer was pressuring an employed trucker to drive longer hours without taking a break, you may have a valid claim against that company.
Call a Licensed Texas Attorney Today
If you were injured in an accident at a truck stop, you should strongly consider speaking to our experienced attorneys today. You have the right to pursue compensation for your damages, and our lawyers are ready to help.
There are no fees while we work on your case, and you do not pay us unless we win. Our attorneys have successfully recovered millions on behalf of our clients.
Call (817) 920-9000 today to schedule a free consultation.