The majority of deaths from commercial vehicle collisions to passenger cars come from the occupants of the passenger car. Because a car is so much smaller than a big rig, the brunt of a collision usually falls on the passenger car occupants. Size is only one of the differences between car accidents.
Big trucks can easily weigh 20 to 30 times more than a car or pickup truck. The size, coupled with the higher ground clearance terms, led to total destruction of the passenger car in a collision at highway speeds.
Also, because 18 Wheelers take much longer to stop, many accidents occur simply because the big truck cannot stop as quickly as the vehicles in front of it. Because most fatal truck accident occurs on highways or interstates, higher speeds are a fact in many of the fatal truck accidents in Texas.
Despite regulations limiting the number of hours a truck driver may actually drive his vehicle, tired truck drivers and distracted drivers are common occurrences in many fatal crashes. Then, many truck drivers cheat on their logbooks to make ends meet financially. Rules violations by truckers have had a dramatic impact on the average settlement of an 18-wheeler accident.
Texas Truck Accident Statistics Per DOT
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2021 alone, there have been over 19,000 commercial motor vehicle crashes in the state of Texas, resulting in 685 fatalities and 3,820 serious injuries. These statistics are alarming and demonstrate the need for increased safety measures for both commercial drivers and other motorists.
FMCSA Fatal Commercial Vehicle Crashes in Texas
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in 2020, Texas had the highest number of fatal crashes involving large trucks out of all the states in the United States. In fact, Texas accounted for 11% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks nationwide. This staggering figure highlights the need for stricter regulations and enforcement in the state.
Driver Fatigue a Major Factor in 18-Wheeler Wrecks
One of the main causes of truck crashes is driver fatigue. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted a study that found that fatigue contributed to 31% of fatal truck crashes. The NTSB also recommended that the FMCSA implement more strict hours-of-service regulations to reduce driver fatigue and improve safety.
Distracted Driving a Big Rig Accidents
Another common cause of truck crashes is distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2019, distracted driving contributed to 8% of fatal crashes involving large trucks. Both commercial drivers and other motorists must avoid distractions while driving, such as texting, eating, or using a phone.
It is also important to note that truck crashes not only have physical consequences but also financial ones. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that in 2020, the total economic loss due to commercial motor vehicle crashes in Texas was over $4 billion.
Texas Safety Programs to Combat Semi Accidents
In response to these alarming statistics, the Texas Department of Public Safety has implemented programs such as the Texas Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP), which provides education, training, and enforcement of regulations for commercial drivers. The program also conducts commercial vehicle safety inspections and ensures drivers comply with safety regulations.
Truck crashes in Texas are a serious issue that requires attention from both the government and the public. It is important for commercial drivers to adhere to safety regulations, avoid distractions, and manage fatigue while driving. For other motorists, it is crucial to be aware of large trucks on the road and to drive defensively. By taking these precautions, we can work towards reducing the number of truck crashes and fatalities in Texas.
Texas Has the Most Fatal Trucking Accidents
Texas leads the nation in fatal truck accidents. In the latest numbers from 2020, there were 513 fatal commercial vehicle accidents. In those crashes, 581 people died. Overall, Texas had 32,562 total commercial vehicle accidents last year. Texas accounts for over 13% of all fatal trucking accidents in the United States.
Despite having the worst large truck safety problem in America, Texas lawmakers recently passed a law making it harder for a jury to hear about motor carriers’ wrongdoing and safety violations in truck accident injury lawsuits. Nationally, 97% of all deaths in a trucking accident were passenger vehicle occupants.
Texas Truck Accidents by the Numbers
Last year, truck accidents in Texas further the state’s reputation as the worst state in America for truck accidents. Here are the facts according to the Texas Department of Transportation:
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- 513 Fatal Commercial Vehicle Crashes in Texas
- 581 People Died
- 1245 Serious Injuries
- 7342 Non-Incapacitating Injuries or Suspected Injury
Top Counties for Semi-Truck Accidents in Texas in 2020
Where Do Most Truck Crashes in Texas Occur?
About ½ of all big truck crashes happen on major highways. At the same time, interstates and freeways accounted for about 1/3 of all trucking crashes. Minor highways accounted for only 15% of fatal big rig accidents. Many of the most deadly highways in Texas run through Houston.
The Most Dangerous Highways in Houston
The Most Dangerous Highways in Dallas
- Interstate 35 (I-35)
- Interstate 30 (I-30)
- Interstate 20 (I-20)
- State Highway 360 (SH 360
- State Highway 183 (SH 183)
The Deadliest Highways in San Antonio:
- Interstate 10 (I-10)
- Loop 1604
- Interstate 35 (I-35)
- Interstate 410 (I-410)
- US 90
The Most Dangerous Roads in Austin:
- Interstate 35 (I-35)
- US 183
- US 290
How Many Commercial Vehicle Accidents Happen in Houston?
Houston has the most tractor-trailer accidents in the state of Texas each year. Unfortunately, Houston is also rated as the deadliest city in the country for fatal trucking accidents. In 2020 alone, Houston had over 2,835 injury accidents.
In the latest commercial vehicle accident statistics in 2020, Houston had:
- 41 fatal truck accidents
- 46 deaths
- 121 serious injuries
- 2668 other injuries or suspected injuries
Which States Have the Most Tractor-Trailer Accident Deaths?
Texas has led the nation in fatal commercial vehicle accidents for the last ten years. Texas accounts for almost 14% of the deaths in the United States from big truck crashes.
Part of the problem is that Texas has so many miles of the type of highways where most trucking collisions occur. Also, the number of big rigs crossing Texas daily adds to the devastating numbers.
Here are the top ten states for fatal truck accidents (in order)
- North Carolina
Why Texas Truck Accident Cases are Complicated
Truck accidents are different than normal car-to-car crashes. The complexity of a commercial vehicle accident stems from three separate factors.
First, because of the weight of the big rig, the injury potential is astronomical compared to a car-to-car crash.
Second, because the injuries tend to be severe or even fatal, the stake for the insurance carriers and trucking companies is significant. A court fight is almost inevitable in most severe injury or wrongful death cases to obtain maximum compensation. An exception might be where the trucking company had a single liability policy and no excess coverage with catastrophic injuries by the victim.
Third, the evidence needed to prove liability includes many factors that are not part of a simple car accident case. Professional truck drivers are required to follow stringent safety rules to protect the public. Like pilots, safety rules and laws have been developed for truck drivers and trucking companies because vehicles can do such damage. Trucking company rules and regulations were enacted to protect the public.
Finally, truck accident investigation is much more extensive and detailed than other motor vehicle crashes. Things like mechanical failure may need to be analyzed. A comparison of car accidents with truck crashes shows that trucking collisions are much more deadly. Investigations of tractor-trailer and big truck crashes require the expertise of a lawyer with substantial experience in truck collisions.
Our trucking accident attorneys have been representing catastrophically injured individuals and families who have lost a loved one for over three decades. We have never lost a truck accident case. And have amassed a huge number of multimillion-dollar settlements for our clients.
Top Causes of Big Rig Crashes in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, the vast majority of semi-truck crashes in Texas are caused by the following factors:
- Faulty evasive action frequently happens when the trucker makes a poor choice of action or is distracted and reacts late.
- Driver inattention– One of the most common causes of vehicle accidents is distracted drivers. This can be cell phone use, eating food, or even changing a radio station. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road.
- Safety rule violations– From driving over the hours allowed to failing to inspect the rig for safety issues. Safety violations are usually serious infractions.
- Improper lane change- The blind spots on tractor-trailers lead to many collisions. Often, innocent motorists are trapped in a blind spot truck accident.
- Failing to Yield the Right of Way– When large trucks don’t yield, the results are often fatal.
Also, violations of the FMCSR by either the trucker or motor carrier account for many of the fatal crashes in Texas, although such factors are usually not accounted for in the Texas crash reports.
Baumgartner Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyer Practice Areas
At Baumgartner Law Firm, our personal injury attorney in Houston, TX, helps clients throughout Texas maximize their damages to get the compensation they deserve. We have recovered millions of dollars and represented thousands of accident victims.
Since 1985, our firm has limited the practice to serious injury cases and produced exceptional results in the following areas:
- Auto & Car Accidents
- Catastrophic and Severe Injuries
- Construction Site Accidents
- Truck & 18-Wheeler Accidents
- Daycare Negligence & Child Injury
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Drunk Driving Accidents
- Dram Shop Lawsuits
- Wrongful Death
- Personal Injury
Our founder attorney, Greg Baumgartner, has over 35 years of experience and has been peer-reviewed preeminent for decades.
Contact Our Top-Rated and Nationally Recognized Houston Truck Accident Lawyers
Texas has the worst record in the country for fatal truck accidents. Houston leads the state in serious injury and fatal big rig crashes. The trucking accident attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm have been winning huge settlements in big rig accident cases for over three decades.
We charge no fee unless you get money in your pocket. And never charge for an injury accident consultation.
Don’t settle for less- Hire the best truck accident lawyers! Call us at (281) 587-1111.