A comprehensive analysis of 16 years of crash data by the Houston Chronicle revealed that Houston has the deadliest roads in the country. Information from the NHTSA reveals that Texas is also the deadliest state for large truck accidents. In this article, our Houston truck accident attorneys review some of the statistics revealed by the work of the Houston Chronicle and discuss why commercial truck accidents are so dangerous for everyone involved.
Highlights from the article below include:
- Houston Accident Statistics and Large Truck Accident Statistics
- Reasons for Houston’s Deadly Roads
- Why are 18-Wheeler Accidents Deadly?
- What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
Houston Accident Statistics and Large Truck Accident Statistics
On average, 2,850 people are seriously injured on Houston-area roads each year. Another 640 people are killed each year on roads throughout Houston. As part of its ongoing series, the Houston Chronicle tracked accidents over one week last summer. During those seven days, there were a total of 11 fatal traffic accidents resulting in 12 deaths. Tragically, this appears to be an example of a typical week on Houston roads. There are many examples of deadly days and weekends on Houston roads in the media.
How does Houston rank with other large metro areas?
In determining how Houston ranks with other metro areas in the country, the data reviewed by the Houston Chronicle included 601,187 fatal incidents on U.S. roads from 2011 through 2016. Based on that data, it was concluded that Houston had the worst record among the 12 largest metro areas in the country for roadway fatalities based on deaths per capita.
In each of the individual categories ranked, Houston ranked in the top one-half for all categories, ranking first in the number of traffic fatalities in crashes involving alcohol and drugs. The area ranked second for accidents involving speeding, and it ranked third for accidents involving trucks.
What about large truck accidents in Houston?
The fatalities from large truck accidents increased by nine percent in 2017. Nationwide, 4,761 people died in large truck accidents. Texas ranked highest in the number of traffic fatalities involving large trucks. Texas had the highest number of fatal accidents involving large trucks, which resulted in the highest number of deaths in the country for occupants of large trucks and occupants of other vehicles. The Texas DOT reports 24,784 truck-tractors or semi-trailers were involved in crashes during 2017.
Reasons for Houston’s Deadly Roads
The Houston Chronicle offers several reasons why the deadliest roads in the country are in Houston:
- Long commutes averaging 29.5 minutes for four out of five people.
- The roads in the Houston areas are designed for maximum speed to move traffic as quickly as possible.
- Lack of enforcement of traffic laws.
- Strong opposition to automated enforcement of traffic laws.
- Lack of safe areas for bicyclists and pedestrians to travel with traffic.
Of course, these are only some of the reasons why 18-wheeler or large truck accidents occur. Many of the truck accidents that occur are the result of negligence or other wrongdoing. Causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued or drowsy driving
- Drugged driving
- Alcohol-impaired driving
- Lack of training and experience
- Improperly loaded cargo
- Lack of maintenance
- Unrealistic schedules and deadlines
- Faulty trucks and equipment
Who is responsible for large truck accidents?
In many cases, there are several parties named in a large truck accident claim. A Houston truck accident attorney conducts a thorough investigation to determine the liable parties. Parties who might be responsible for the injuries and losses caused by a commercial truck accident include truck drivers, trucking companies, loaders/shippers, repair facilities, maintenance companies, government agencies, and manufacturers/distributors.
Why are 18-Wheeler Accidents Deadly?
The main reason why commercial truck accidents are deadly is the difference in size and weight of the vehicles involved in the crashes. In 82 percent of the crashes involving large trucks, the fatalities occur to occupants of other vehicles and non-occupants. A passenger vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist is much more vulnerable in a truck crash than the occupants of the truck.
Accidents involving semi-trucks and 18-wheelers also result in catastrophic injuries for the accident victims. In addition to life-threatening conditions, accident victims often suffer life-altering injuries, such as amputations, paralysis, and other permanent disabilities. For many families and accident victims, a truck accident results in major life changes, extreme financial burdens, and a lifetime of pain and suffering.
What Should You Do After a Truck Accident?
Because of the substantial damages caused by truck accidents, it is important to take steps to protect your legal right to recover fair compensation for your injuries. One of the best ways to protect your best interests is to consult with a Houston truck accident attorney as soon as possible.
Commercial truck accident claims are complex cases involving large corporations and complicated government regulations and laws. It is crucial that steps are taken quickly to advise the parties to preserve essential evidence that can prove fault, including the information from the truck’s black box, driving records, and maintenance records. A Houston commercial truck accident attorney understands the steps necessary in conducting a comprehensive accident investigation to determine the cause of the crash, identify liable parties, and gather evidence to prove fault.
Contact a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free Case Review
The Texas truck accident attorneys of the Weycer Law Firm help accident victims and families seek the compensation they deserve when a trucking company, truck driver, or other party is negligent in causing a tragic accident. To schedule your free consultation, call (713) 668-4545.