Texas ranks 1st nationwide for most fatal truck accidents, statistics show
Accidents caused by tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles can be very serious accidents. That’s because large, commercial trucks are much larger than other vehicles on the road. Specifically, when fully loaded, a semi-truck can weigh more than 80,000 pounds – more than 16 times the weight of an average car.
Worst of all, fatal accidents caused by commercial trucks are very common throughout Texas, according to the latest government statistics. In fact, more large trucks are involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents in Texas compared to any other state by a wide margin. That’s why it’s important for motorists to be aware of large trucks in order to avoid a truck accident in Texas.
How common are truck accidents in Texas?
Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiles accident statistics nationwide, including statistics for truck accidents. According to the latest statistics released in 2019, truck accidents continue to be a serious problem nationwide -- and in Texas.
Nationwide, an estimated 87,000 trucks were involved in accidents in 2015, the most recent statistics provided by the NHTSA. As for fatal truck accidents, 4,657 trucks were involved in motor vehicle accidents in 2017, resulting in 4,761 fatalities in 2017.
As for Texas, 621 large trucks were involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2017. That figure is the most for any state nationwide. The next closest state for fatal truck accidents is California, which recorded 341 fatal truck accidents in 2017, according to the NHTSA.
Why do truck accidents happen in Texas?
Commercial truck accidents happen for many different reasons in Texas and nationwide. There are often many similarities between truck accidents, and some of the most common causes include:
- Speeding truck driver crashing into another vehicle
- Inexperienced truck driver loses control of truck
- Distracted truck drivers causes serious accident
- Truck driver falls asleep at the wheel
- Mechanical problem (tire blowout, defective brakes, etc.)
These are just some of the common causes of truck accidents, but these crashes happen for many more reasons, so it is important for an attorney to investigate exactly how your crash happened as soon as possible.
What makes truck accidents more complicated than other accidents?
Truck accidents might seem similar to other motor vehicle accidents. In many ways, however, truck accidents turn out to be far more complicated than other motor vehicle crashes because:
- Truck driver denies causing accident
- Different state and federal laws apply to truck accidents
- Truck accidents often result in more severe injuries due to size of trucks
- Trucking company can be hard to reach after accident
- More than one company can often be involved in a truck accident, including:
- Trucking company
- Company that owns trailer
- Company that loaded trailer
- Company that packed products located in trailer
- Insurance companies representing each one of the companies
- Federal officials, in addition to local police, may also be investigating crash.
These are some of the reasons why truck accidents are complicated. Each truck accident is different and often presents its own unique challenges.
What should I do if I’m involved in a truck accident in Texas?
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident caused by a commercial truck driver, take the following steps immediately:
- Call the police and ask them to respond to your truck accident.
- If someone saw your truck accident, get the witness’ name, address and phone number, so authorities can contact them later.
- Get the following information from the truck driver:
- Driver’s name
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance information
- Trucking company’s name, address and phone number
- Keep your comments to the truck driver brief. Anything you say could be used later to deny your truck accident claim.
- Take pictures of your truck accident.
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor. You could have serious injuries that show up later.
- Contact a truck accident attorney.
The stakes are too high to tackle a truck accident on your own. Make sure you talk to an experienced Texas truck accident lawyer who understands how the legal system works and who can carefully investigate your crash. Contact Jeff Weinstein Law in Henderson County, Texas and schedule your free consultation.