Trucks are a common sight on Texas roads. They’re a well-loved choice for residents and for businesses alike because they’re efficient at hauling tools, goods, and everything in between. From decent-sized pickup trucks to big rigs, Texas has more than one of eachtraversing its highways day in and day out.
Unfortunately, the Lone Star State isn’t just known for its love of trucks. Out of all the states in the US, Texastops the list for the greatest number of fatal commercial vehicle accidents for the last 10 years. Recent reports from the Texas Department of Transportation show that at least one person dies from a crash every day. In 2021, at least 11 people died on the state’s highways.
Trends In Truck Accidents In Texas
While it looks like trucks and Texas roads form a deadly combination, there’s more to this alarming trend. Here’s a list of truck accident trends to learn more about the state’s persistent truck safety problem.
- Property Damage And Passenger Injuries
Traffic accidents are everyday occurrences on roads and highways, and truck accidents are often the deadliest. A collision with a commercial vehicle, whether a tractor-trailer, an 18-wheeler, or semi-truck, can lead to property damage. In most cases, they can also result in serious personal injuries and even death.
Passenger occupants often bear the brunt of truck crashes. Their size, weight, and speed can cause enough damage to another truck or car through mechanical defects and driver misjudgment.
In Texas, the most common truck accidents include various types of collisions, jackknifes, underride, and blind spots. If you find yourself or a loved one injured in a truck accident on one of Texas’s roads or on one of its Interstate highways, you can seek help from truck accident lawyers to learn more about your recovery options.
- Long-Stretch Highways And High Rise Cities
Urbanization is another factor that contributes to the rise in truck accidents in Texas. As major cities such as Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin experience rapid growth, more trucks are needed to provide much-needed goods for their residents.
Interstate highways help trucks meet growing demand. These long stretches not only connect major cities in Texas but also facilitate the movement of cargo and other essentials within and from other neighboring locations. Unfortunately, these highways are heavily congested and accident-prone.
Authorities consider the I-40, I-35, and I-20 to be three of the most dangerous interstates in the US. Some of the most common causes of interstate truck accidents include improper lane changes, failing to yield, and safety rule violations.
- Longer Hours Equals More Mistakes
Another factor that affects the high truck accident rates in Texas and elsewhere in the country is the shortage of qualified drivers. According to the American Trucking Association, they lack 80,000 qualified commercial drivers.
In order to meet increased demand, trucking companies often compel drivers to go beyond the required driving hours. Some may even result in hiring inexperienced drivers just to meet delivery time frames.
Drivers who work longer hours are often fatigued and may experience judgement errors while on the road. In addition, unskilled drivers can also cause accidents. A lot of truck companies like Migway develop training programs to improve driver’s skills. It allows decreasing amount of accidents
- Recklessness During Lockdowns
Driver recklessness is the number one cause of truck accidents in Texas and perhaps across the nation. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, near-empty roads seem to encourage truck drivers to engage in risky practices.
While most people stayed home due to lockdowns, truck drivers took the liberty to engage in behaviors such as distracted driving, speeding, and non-wearing of seatbelts. Some even turn tosubstance abuse to keep them awake during long driving hours.
This presents an opportunity for the trucking industry to improve its compliance with safety regulations. In order to achieve this, companies should educate their drivers about safe driving practices. In addition, they should also ensure amenable working hours and encourage productive measures amongst their trucking frontliners.
Companies would need to ensure their drivers are in good condition and receive proper training to help them become more efficient and safe drivers.
The Last Mile
In sum, truck accident trends demonstrate why big rigs and dangerous highways cause a major truck safety issue in Texas. Increasing demands placed on the trucking industry due to the rapid growth of major cities, truck driver shortages, and risky driving behavior all contribute to the continuous rise of truck accidents on busy roads and highways.
As the state grapples with these trends, it’s vital for the trucking industry and concerned agencies to develop permanent solutions. In-depth discussions and trucking regulation reviews can ensure that Texas retains its love for big trucks without causing property damage or personal injury.