Truck Accidents on Central Expressway in Dallas
If You've Been Injured in a Dallas Truck Accident on Highway 75, Call Us
Any resident of Dallas who commutes on US-75 can tell you that there are numerous truck accidents that happen on Central Expressway every year. There are a multitude of factors that lead to the numerous truck accidents that occur on 75 many of which are unique to this highway's design and construction. Throughout our firm's 22 years of practice in the Dallas area, we have litigated numerous cases related to commercial vehicle accidents on 75 and other highways in the area. The Dallas truck accident lawyers at our firm have created the following informational material to help you understand some of the causal and contributory factors to the sheer volume of 18-wheeler wrecks on 75.
Covered in This Article
- History of Accidents on 75
- Common causes of Truck Accidents on US-75
- Suburban Population Creates Hazardous Situation
- The High-Five
- HOV Lanes with Less-than-Solid Barriers
- Entering the Canyon
History of Accidents on 75
When the population of the Dallas area was exploding in leaps and bounds from the 1970s through the 1990s, the northern suburbs became one of the most popular places to live, with a family being able to acquire luxury homes in Carrollton, Richardson, or Plano for a price that was unbelievably affordable compared to most other like-sized metropolitan areas.
As a result, these northern suburbs quickly filled out, and the northern limit of the Dallas area kept growing outward, with subdivisions of houses eating up the farmland that used to be Frisco, Wylie, Murphy, Prosper, Celina, Allen, and McKinney and turning these rural towns into suburban cities. While this expansion has been great for families looking for their own piece of Texas, it has been terrible for traffic on US-75, the north-south interstate highway that runs from downtown (where it terminates in I-45, the highway connecting Dallas to Houston) all the way north into Minnesota. While the highway has doubled in size from four lanes to eight lanes over the past 20 years, the problem is far from resolved.
Common causes of Truck Accidents on US-75
Rear-end Accidents - Semi-trucks cannot stop on a dime. An 18-wheeler usually takes more than twice the amount of roadway to stop than a typical passenger car. Thus, in heavy traffic situations that often occur on I-75, rear-ending accidents involving 18-wheelers are quite common.
Sideswiping Due to Unsafe Lane Changes - Just like stopping, 18-wheelers cannot maneuver as well as passenger cars. Moreover, they have greatly limited visibility in their rearview mirrors with enormous blind spots. Thus, if a truck driver realizes at the last second that he is about to miss his exit, he may force the 18-wheeler over to the right. Since 18-wheelers are usually between 70 and 80 feet long, it's not easy to slip a commercial truck into the next lane without incident. Often, truck accidents occur from this situation either because the truck driver completely disregards the cars next to him, or he simply doesn't notice the car in his side mirror before colliding with it.
Speeding through Construction - Over the course of the past 30 years, some portion of US-75 is almost always under construction. The state of Texas lowers the speed limit on highway construction sites to protect the workers, drivers, and passengers. When an 18-wheeler races through a roadside construction site, there is a chance it will run over one of the workers, or collide with a car or another truck that has slowed down to pay heed to the danger zone.
Falling Asleep at the Wheel - Truck drivers spend long hours on the road, so fatigue can often become the enemy of 18-wheeler safety despite the federal limits on the hours of service permissible for a driver in a single day. When a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, causing his truck to drift into the next lane, a collision is usually imminent due to the high volume of passenger car traffic on the road.
Generally Not Paying Attention - While a driver can fall asleep due to an excessive amount of time on the road, inattention can be just as dangerous as a result of the monotony of truck driving. In some occasions, truck drivers can operate on auto-pilot, driving out of habit while not devoting their complete focus to the task at hand. When on a highway like Central Expressway where the road conditions and tempo change in the blink of an eye, a lack of concentration by a truck driver can quickly lead to an 18-wheeler accident.
When pursuing compensation from a trucking company, its insurance policy will likely be quite large; therefore, it will usually mount a stalwart effort to protect its assets. In order to force the trucking company or its insurance provider to compensate you fairly, you will most likely require the services of an experienced Dallas 18-wheeler accident attorney. Attorney Michael Grossman wants you to understand the specific challenges that cause 18-wheeler accidents on US-75, so let's talk more about the highway itself.
Northern Suburban Population Creates Hazardous Situation for Truck Drivers on US-75
While hundreds of thousands of Dallas residents now live north of LBJ Freeway, most of them work in Dallas proper, requiring a massive commute. Every morning, the southbound traffic on 75, known locally as North Central Expressway or just Central Expressway for short, bogs down to a snail's pace, and it's the same crawl, just headed in the opposite direction going north, every evening beginning around 4 p.m. and going until well after 7 p.m. At any given point during the day or night, an accident on Central can lead to an impromptu traffic jam.
For trucking companies, US-75 is a critical route, connecting the bread-basket states of the Midwest, which are responsible for so much of our country's meat, vegetable, and grain production. Much of the cargo hauled north or south through the Midwest goes down US-75. When the 18-wheelers carrying those goods hit the northern Dallas suburbs, they get bogged down in traffic right along with all of those people of Plano and Allen who are trying to get to work.
Remember that 18-wheelers are enormous vehicles, weighing as much as 80,000 pounds when loaded down with a full trailer. Thus, stopping a commercial truck usually takes at least twice the amount of time and road than braking a passenger car. On the contrary, with twice as many gears as a passenger car, an 18-wheeler is much harder to get going or to change lanes and make other last-second maneuvers. When traffic fluctuates between stop and go, driving conditions get all that much more hazardous for relatively unwieldy vehicles like 18-wheelers.
The most congested traffic in the Dallas area usually occurs for miles around the interchange of US-75 and I-635 (LBJ Freeway) in Dallas – a massive mix-master known as the "High Five." LBJ is the busiest east-west highway in Dallas, and when it comes together with US-75, the result is often chaotic. Additionally, the High Five features ramps leading off the highway from both the right and left. If someone is not familiar with the interchange, it is very easy to be accidentally headed in the wrong direction. Drivers will often switch lanes at the last second in order to avoid being spun off down the wrong road. Whether in heavy or light traffic, such a move can often lead to an accident with an 18-wheeler that lacks the maneuverability to dodge a sudden obstacle.
HOV Lanes with Less-Than-Solid Barriers
North of LBJ, Central Expressway features a High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane. This lane is separated from the mainstream by a line of four-foot, rubber flexible barriers. Any vehicle wishing to exit the HOV lane immediately can do so by simply plowing through the flexible barriers, doing only slight damage to his or her car. In some spots, the flexible barriers have already been flattened like stalks of corn underneath the car of a mischievous teenager. In these spots, motorists are even more likely to attempt to exit. This creates two dangers for any other vehicle – rear-ending the car that brakes in an effort to wait at a gap in the flexible barriers for a safe spot to exit into traffic, and colliding with a car in the far left lane because the driver failed to wait for a safe place to exit the HOV lane. Drivers of passenger cars can sometimes avoid accidents with these vehicles, for their cars feature agile enough handling to navigate around the danger. For truck drivers, when a sudden hazard is presented, the collision is often more difficult to avoid.
Entering the Canyon
The other significant problem for truck drivers on Central Expressway comes as the highway terminates into I-45 directly north of downtown Dallas. This is another complicated mix-master that features thick traffic. Motorists have the option of getting on most of the major highways in the Dallas area, as well as, several downtown streets. Since US-75 ends, trucks must either continue onto I-45 headed to Houston or run along a short section of freeway called, "The Canyon," before being led onto I-30 or I-35. With traffic flowing in every direction, truck drivers are assaulted with stimuli and obstacles, creating the increased likelihood of a wreck.
As long as the northern Dallas suburbs continue creeping toward Oklahoma, US-75 will remain a congested highway, making 18-wheeler travel hazardous and commercial truck accidents on the Central Expressway all-too-common. If you've been injured or you have lost a loved one in an 18-wheeler accident, call Grossman Law Offices today for a free consultation at 1-855-326-0000 (toll free). Winning a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit stemming from an 18-wheeler accident usually takes the guidance of an experienced truck accident attorney. With over two decades of litigating truck accident cases, our attorneys know how to help.