Truck Driver Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on I-45 in Dallas, TX
Dallas, TX -- January 20, 2022, a 25-year-old truck driver was seriously injured when his tractor-trailer crashed on Interstate 45 in Dallas.
Authorities say the incident happened around 4:25 a.m. on I-45 near Malloy Bridge Road. Preliminary investigation suggests an International semi-truck was towing a trailer north in the right lane of the freeway when the driver alleged he briefly fell asleep at the wheel. The truck veered off-course and crashed through the guardrails lining the area between the highway's main lanes and the Malloy Bridge Road exit. Reports say the truck ran down an embankment and came to rest at the bottom.
The truck driver received serious injuries in the accident.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Solo Truck Accident on I-45 in Dallas
If reports have their facts straight some folks may assume this is largely an open-and-shut situation. The truck driver made a serious mistake at the wheel, even admitting as much to investigators, so what else could there be to say? As it happens there are still some possible factors in this crash that need careful investigation--to be sure the whole truth is found, certainly, and also to be sure that the injured driver receives any help to which he may be entitled.
Some may think there's little else to say since the driver was probably injured on the job and thus "workers' comp will handle it." In most states that would probably be true, but one thing people don't always know is that Texas companies are allowed to "opt out" of the workers' comp system. That means no automatic benefits for their injured workers, but by cutting costs on enrollment those companies open themselves up to possible litigation if negligence on their part led to a worker's injuries. I'm not saying that's necessarily the case in the Dallas crash, but rather that it's a point to keep in mind rather than thinking everything will simply be resolved automatically.
Moreover, if the driver fell asleep at the wheel then it's important to find out the circumstances behind that. It's possible he just pushed himself too hard, certainly, but the firm has seen some cases where a driver nodded off while trying to comply with unfair work demands. I recently had a case where a driver fell asleep after 20 straight hours behind the wheel and caused a serious collision. Not only did he violate federal service hour regulations, but he managed to injure several innocent people in the process.
The preliminary details of the accident had a lot of people ready to throw the book at the driver, but we wondered why the driver put himself and others at risk that way. We looked into the matter more carefully and found that his employer had a number of unfair and downright dangerous policies. They routinely pressured drivers into meeting ridiculous deadlines that all but required them to drive dangerously and cut corners. If they failed to meet those deadlines they risked cut routes or even losing their jobs entirely. Some just quit and looked for new jobs, but others couldn't afford to be out of work so they reluctantly complied. It was inevitable that someone would get hurt.
I mention that case to say that things aren't always exactly as they seem. In Dallas it could still be learned through careful investigation that the driver simply made a mistake or used his off-hours for something besides sleeping until it finally caught up with him. However, it could also be learned that he was put in the rough position of choosing between professional ethics and putting food on the table. Depending on which turned out to be the case the consequences might vary significantly, which is why it's so important to look carefully into what occurred in order to figure out what should happen next.