Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Why Are There More Fatal Truck Accidents in Texas?
An interesting thing is happening on today’s roadways with respect to commercial carriers and the number of 18-wheeler accidents that occur. Despite a massive driver shortage, and fewer trucks on the highways throughout Texas and the rest of the nation, safety advocates and truck accident lawyers who deal with these cases report that fatal truck accidents are actually on the rise. Although there are many contributing factors thought to be adding to these numbers, the main reason for this seems to be the economic troubles in the commercial trucking industry.
Fatal Truck Accidents In Texas On the Rise
Big rig accident attorneys assert that annually, there are over a half-million vehicle accidents that involve big rigs, with over 30,000 of those occurring in Texas alone.1 Of this disproportionate number of truck accidents that occur in Texas, there are over 500 deaths annually that can be attributed to these incidents.2 This is about one-eighth of the nearly 4,000 truck accident fatalities nationwide. These numbers show a continued increase in what has been happening over almost the past decade. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any signs that things will improve, either. All of this is despite the fact that trucking fatalities are decreasing elsewhere in the country.
Why Are Fatal Accidents Increasing in Texas?
Following are two of the main reasons that truck accident lawyers, and others knowledgeable about this industry, say can be attributed to this:
- Driver Shortages - The commercial shipping industry is dealing with a massive problem caused by a lack of qualified drivers behind the wheel. Due to numerous safety law changes that many drivers feel have negatively affected them, drivers are leaving the industry in droves, without enough new drivers coming in. Combined with unstable rates of pay, carriers pushing drivers to their limits, and other reasons why driving has become unfavorable, some drivers are working more than they should be while others are on the road without enough experience to meet demand.
- Increased Demand in Texas - Alongside the shortage of skilled, trained drivers, there has been an increased demand for drivers in the past couple of years - specifically in Texas, due to the oil and fracking boom. This equates to more work for drivers than there are legally licensed, experienced drivers available. Unfortunately, this has resulted in many more unqualified drivers trying to fit the bill. The results have become obvious, as the 18-wheeler accidents, injuries, and fatalities that occur on Texas highways have continued to increase.
Considering these facts, it is essential that all vehicle drivers practice defensive driving and stay especially alert when they are on the road and around semi trucks. Rather than having to deal with truck accident lawyers after being injured in 18-wheeler accidents, everyone should do what they can to understand how trucking accidents occur, and how to avoid being injured in one. Despite defensive driving, should an accident with a semi happen, injured victims should seek immediate assistance from qualified big rig accident attorneys so investigation into the cause of their crash, and the process of gaining a fair settlement, can begin!