Big rigs, also known as 18-wheelers, are very common sights on the highways in and around Houston. While trucks are a necessary part of life, they can also be involved in accidents. When a truck accident occurs, it often has devastating results with significant damage and injuries. Texas is a large state and therefore there are many accidents that occur on its roads every day. In 2017, 3,720 people were killed on Texas roadways, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Crashes
TxDOT issues an annual report of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes. In 2016, the most recent data available, there were 34,108 CMV crashes that resulted in 584 fatalities. Injuries are grouped by incapacitating and non-incapacitating. Of the total number of crashes involving large trucks, there were 1,101 incapacitating crashes that ended in 1,426 incapacitating injuries. 4,704 injuries were considered non-incapacitating. There were 8,170 possible injuries and 284 crashes with injuries, however, the severity of the injuries was unknown. The report also indicates that there were 2,963 crashes in which it was unknown whether there were any injuries.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, compiles data from a number of sources and prepares an annual report about large truck and bus crashes in the United States. The number of large truck accidents that were reported to police in 2016 was 475,000. In 2016 there was an increase of fatal truck crashes from 2015 with a total of 4,440 nationwide. The number of accidents is on the rise from 2009 when there was the lowest number of fatal crashes in the 21st century.
The majority of fatal truck crashes occurred on large interstate highways and in rural areas. Most of these crashes, 84%, happened during the week rather than on the weekend. About 62% of fatal crashes involved two or more vehicles and most occurred at night during the hours of 6 PM to 6 AM. Rollovers accounted for about 5% of fatal large truck crashes.
Factors in Big Rig Accidents
There are a number of factors that play a role in a big rig crash. Some of the most common factors include driver fatigue, distracted driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, tailgating, improper lane changes, and failure to obey traffic signals. Other factors include weather and road conditions and mechanical failures. There is often more than one contributing factor in a big rig accident.
Truck accidents can cause severe injuries and fatalities. Some of the most severe injuries to other drivers are neck and back injuries, head trauma, broken bones, and internal injuries. Serious injuries can be life-threatening and may cause lifelong disabilities. If you or a loved one was hurt in an accident involving a big rig, you might be entitled to compensation. The negligent driver might be responsible for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and money for pain and suffering, among other damages. Contact the Houston 18-wheeler accident attorneys at the Baumgartner Law Firm to discuss the details of your case today. Call 281-587-1111.
Texas Department of Transportation, https://www.txdot.gov/
TxDOT Commercial Motor Vehicle Involved Crashes and Injuries by County, 2016, http://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2016/29.pdf
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2016