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How do Truck Drivers Log Their Driving Time?

 

 

 

 

 

Accidents with big rigs are dangerous and terrifying. Those involved in truck crashes are often seriously hurt. After a crash, all aspects of the situation need to be analyzed. An experienced Houston truck accident attorney will work to gather information and details about the crash. One factor that often comes into play is whether the truck driver was fatigued, a type of driver impairment. Truck drivers are limited to how long they can drive before they need to rest. Drivers and trucking companies are required to log the driver’s time behind the wheel.

Truck Driver Logging Requirements

In the past, trucking companies and drivers were required to keep paper logs of their time and their work. The problem with these records is that they can easily be changed, lost or destroyed. As a result, the driver’s account of time behind the wheel could not be reviewed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the rules and regulations regarding truck safety.

The industry is moving to Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). ELDs are devices that automatically record the details of the truck driver. The devices eliminate the need for paperwork and drivers do not have to spend time keeping track of their activities. ELDs also make it easier to obtain accurate driver logs after a truck accident.

Electronic Logging Devices

In the past, truck drivers utilized a system called an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD). These devices are the precursors to ELDs and are still being used by many companies. Trucking companies have until the end of 2019 to provide ELDs and may still utilize AOBRDs until then if they have been properly approved.

ELDs have more capabilities and are more reliable than AOBRDs. ELDs also have the ability to transfer data electronically using web services and email and local transfers using Bluetooth and USB devices. The electronic capabilities allow for more accurate driver logs. They also provide the ability to review the data with assurance that it is correct.

 After an Accident with a Truck

After an accident with a truck, it is advisable to seek legal guidance from an experienced Houston truck accident attorney. Your lawyer will immediately act to secure information and data about the accident including information from the ELD. Your attorney will review the log information to determine whether the driver was driving according to the law. The driver can only drive for a certain length of time before he or she must take a break.

Sometimes, a driver may work longer hours than he should, often because drivers might be paid by the load. Drivers may try to push their limits and could be fatigued which might cause an accident. If the driver was driving while fatigued and did not take the required breaks or rest time, he or she could be found grossly negligent in the accident.

If you were hurt in an accident with a truck in Houston you may be entitled to compensation that might include money for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Contact our truck crash legal team at (281) 893-0760!

 

 

 

Resources

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2015-12-16/pdf/2015-31336.pdf

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/eld-checklist-carriers

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do Truck Drivers Log Their Driving Time?

Accidents with big rigs are dangerous and terrifying. Those involved in truck crashes are often seriously hurt. After a crash, all aspects of the situation need to be analyzed. An experienced Houston truck accident attorney will work to gather information and details about the crash. One factor that often comes into play is whether the truck driver was fatigued, a type of driver impairment. Truck drivers are limited to how long they can drive before they need to rest. Drivers and trucking companies are required to log the driver’s time behind the wheel.

Truck Driver Logging Requirements

In the past, trucking companies and drivers were required to keep paper logs of their time and their work. The problem with these records is that they can easily be changed, lost or destroyed. As a result, the driver’s account of time behind the wheel could not be reviewed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees the rules and regulations regarding truck safety.

The industry is moving to Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). ELDs are devices that automatically record the details of the truck driver. The devices eliminate the need for paperwork and drivers do not have to spend time keeping track of their activities. ELDs also make it easier to obtain accurate driver logs after a truck accident.

Electronic Logging Devices

In the past, truck drivers utilized a system called an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD). These devices are the precursors to ELDs and are still being used by many companies. Trucking companies have until the end of 2019 to provide ELDs and may still utilize AOBRDs until then if they have been properly approved.

ELDs have more capabilities and are more reliable than AOBRDs. ELDs also have the ability to transfer data electronically using web services and email and local transfers using Bluetooth and USB devices. The electronic capabilities allow for more accurate driver logs. They also provide the ability to review the data with assurance that it is correct.

 After an Accident with a Truck

After an accident with a truck, it is advisable to seek legal guidance from an experienced Houston truck accident attorney. Your lawyer will immediately act to secure information and data about the accident including information from the ELD. Your attorney will review the log information to determine whether the driver was driving according to the law. The driver can only drive for a certain length of time before he or she must take a break.

Sometimes, a driver may work longer hours than he should, often because drivers might be paid by the load. Drivers may try to push their limits and could be fatigued which might cause an accident. If the driver was driving while fatigued and did not take the required breaks or rest time, he or she could be found grossly negligent in the accident.

If you were hurt in an accident with a truck in Houston you may be entitled to compensation that might include money for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Contact our legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free case consultation.

 

 

 

Resources

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2015-12-16/pdf/2015-31336.pdf

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/eld-checklist-carriers

Can I Get Punitive Damages in a Texas Truck Accident Case?

 

If you were hurt in a Houston truck accident, the negligent driver is generally required to pay for your medical bills and other damages. Damages generally fall into one of three categories including economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages are those that you can measure. These include such items as medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages were caused by the accident but are not economic. For instance, money for pain and suffering is a non-economic type of damage.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are also known as exemplary damages. These are above and beyond economic and non-economic and punish an extremely negligent perpetrator and deter similar bad acts. Punitive damages are not automatic and must be requested. Punitive damages are only appropriate where the driver was grossly negligent.

Certain criteria must be met to win punitive damages. To proceed with punitive damages there must first be actual damages caused by the accident. You cannot collect damages for pain and suffering if you have not suffered an injury. Your attorney must be able to prove that the driver knew or should have known that their actions had high risk for potential harm and that the driver knew about the risk but acted anyway. To prove gross negligence, you must do so by providing clear and convincing evidence.

The Texas Damages Act

Punitive damages that you can collect in a case is capped by law. The Texas Damages Act is legislation that limits the money that can be awarded for punitive damages. Punitive damages cannot exceed twice economic damages plus the amount equal to non-economic damages. It cannot exceed $750,000 or $200,000, whichever is greater.

Before there were limits in place, juries would decide punitive damages without limits. Therefore, a jury could cause financial ruin if they imposed excessive punitive damages. The cap therefore limits the amount to ensure that it is kept within reason.

If you were hurt in a Houston truck accident you may seek economic, non-economic and if the conduct is severe enough, punitive damages. Your attorney will review the details of the case to determine whether the driver was grossly negligent in causing the accident.

Not all cases require a trial. Most personal injury cases are settled before they reach that stage. An experienced Houston truck accident attorney will protect your rights and fight for a settlement that is fair. If a settlement cannot be reached, the matter will court.

Our attorneys will prepare the case as if it will go to court and will be ready to prove your case to the satisfaction of a judge or jury.

If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident, contact the Houston truck wreck law firm. Call (281) 863-0760! 

 

 

 

Resources

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CP/htm/CP.41.htm

https://www.texas-truckaccidentlawyer.com/practice-areas/punitive-damages-in-big-rig-cases-in-houston/

 

 

What are the Laws Governing Commercial Trucks?

 

Commercial trucks are a common sight on our Texas roadways. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are more than 130 million commercial trucks on our roadways and Texas is one of the states with the most trucks. Safety on our roads is a major concern. Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow the laws and regulations that are in place to ensure safety and help protect the public from harm.

FMCSA Regulations for 18-Wheelers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides rules and regulations that must be followed by drivers and owners of 18-wheelers.

  • Driving Limit of 11 Hours: Commercial big-rig drivers are limited to the number of hours they can drive consecutively and in a 24-hour period. Drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours and only after 10 hours of consecutive off-duty hours.
  • Limit of 14 Driving Hours per Day: Drivers are also limited to a total of 14 hours behind the wheel in any 24-hour period. Drivers are not allowed to work more than 14 hours per day, including both driving and non-driving activities. Drivers must also be given 10 consecutive off-duty hours per shift.
  • Required Breaks: Drivers are required to take a 30-minute break after eight hours worked. Breaks must be off-duty. This means that the driver can not be participating in any work-related activity and must be off-duty for the break.
  • Weekly Driving Limits: Drivers cannot work more than 60 hours in a work week or more than 70 hours of duty in an eight-day period.

 

There are many additional laws in place that detail mechanical maintenance, load securement, and transportation of hazardous materials. Trucking companies and drivers are responsible for following the laws. If they fail to do so and an accident occurs, they could be considered negligent.

What Causes Truck Accidents?

Many truck accidents are caused by the negligent actions of the driver or company. Some of the most common problems are driver fatigue and driver distraction. Although drivers are required to take breaks and to drive only for specific periods of time, the rules are not always followed. Drivers may try to earn more money by taking an extra shift or trying to drive further than allowed in a day.

When a truck accident happens, it is often in your best interest to seek legal guidance from a reputable Houston truck accident attorney. Your lawyer will take the steps necessary to protect important evidence in the case. For example, driver logs may show that the driver broke the law and drove for too many hours. However, trucking companies may lose some of this data if your lawyer does not take quick action.

Laws are in place to govern trucks and protect the public. If the driver or the trucking company failed to follow the law, they are likely negligent in the accident. You may be owed compensation for your injuries and damages.

Contact our experienced Houston truck accident law firm today to discuss the details of your accident. Call 281-893-0760

Do I Need Accident Reconstruction After a Houston Truck Accident?

 

Truck accidents are often devastating and cause serious injuries or fatalities. Immediately following an accident with a truck, you may be concerned about your health and healing from your injuries. However, it is important not to wait too long to discuss the accident with an experienced Houston truck accident attorney. Truck accident cases are often extremely complex and you can be sure that the truck driver and trucking company have a team of attorneys already handling the accident.

What is Accident Reconstruction?

The negligent party that caused the accident should be responsible for paying for your medical expenses and other damages. The cause of the accident must be determined in order to establish negligence. In Texas, both parties may be partly responsible for the accident. In order to collect damages in Texas, the other parties must be more than 50% responsible for the crash. Determining negligence means that you and your attorney must find out the exact cause of the accident.

Accidents happen quickly and many times you may not remember the details that led up to the crash or what caused the incident. It can be extremely beneficial in these instances to get help from a professional accident reconstructionist. Accident reconstruction companies use information about the accident to recreate or reconstruct what occurred.

There are many factors that could be part of the cause of the accident. For example, the truck may have been speeding, the road may have been slippery, one of the vehicles may have changed lanes. The reconstruction expert will gather all of the details of the accident to analyze and evaluate data. They may utilize information from a variety of sources such as police reports, witness and driver statements, examining damage to the vehicles, and viewing the crash scene.

When is Accident Reconstruction Helpful?

Generally, the police do not reconstruct accidents in civil cases and the police reports opinions about fault may not be admissible in court. You have the burden of proof to show the cause of the accident. When there is a dispute about negligence in a case, as there often is, accident reconstruction may be the best option.

However, if you are going to use an accident reconstruction specialist, it is in your best interest to get started immediately. The longer you wait, the less information and documentation may be available to the reconstruction specialist. For instance, the trucking company could purge documents that are necessary such as driver log books and scene infotmation may no longer be available. This type of information could be critical to proving your case.

Accident reconstruction may be needed when the other party can not remember the details of the accident, changes the story to blame you or when the trucking company has already hired its own accident reconstruction team.

Your attorney will assess the situation and determine when accident reconstruction should be done. If you were seriously hurt in a truck accident, you need legal assistance from a skilled Houston truck accident attorney with the expertise to handle your case.

Contact the go to 18-wheeler accident attorneys today for a free case consultation. Call 281-893-0760

What are the Time Limits to File a Truck Accident Claim?

 

Accidents can happen in an instant when you least expect them. When an accident happens, it can be devastating, and the injuries an accident victim incurs are likely to be serious. You and your family need to concentrate on your medical treatment as a priority, but also be careful not to allow too much time to go by before you speak with an experienced Houston truck accident attorney.

Statutes of limitations

Texas law places a general limit of two years from the time of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Preserving Evidence

While you have up to two years to file a lawsuit, that does not mean you should wait. The longer you wait, the harder it may become to prove your case. A lot of evidence could be lost or destroyed before you file your case. You should always talk to an experienced Houston personal injury attorney as soon after the accident as possible.

Trucking companies could lose or even destroy information that could be crucial to your case. For example, you may need to have access to the maintenance records of the truck and to the driver’s log showing how many hours the driver was on the road prior to the accident. These important details are necessary in proving your case, and if you wait too long to file, you might find these records are no longer available.

Witnesses

Over time, drivers, passengers, and other witnesses of the accident may not remember the details of the collision as vividly as they did at first. It is always best to start the legal process when you can so your attorney can depose witnesses while they still have a strong memory of the crash. once people cannot recall some details of the crash, their testimony becomes less important and can not always be considered reliable.

Your attorney will want to depose witnesses as soon after the accident as they can so the information is still fresh in their minds. The same holds true for video or surveillance footage that may have captured the accident. If you fail to obtain these recordings soon after the crash, they may no longer be available when you need them to prove your case.

 

The law will preclude you from filing a case after two years. If you try to file a case after that time, it is likely that your case will be thrown out because it does not meet the legal deadlines. Remember that your attorney will need some time to investigate, evaluate, and process information to file the case. Therefore, do not wait to start looking for a lawyer.

 

Call the Texas Trucking Accident Attorney

You can a truck crash evaluation you need from our skilled Houston truck accident attorneys by calling 281-893-0760!

How are Truck Accidents Different From Car Accidents?

 

There are thousands of vehicle accidents on our roads each year. While the majority are minor, some are severe, resulting in critical injuries and fatalities to drivers and passengers. A minor fender bender with another passenger vehicle on a city street is usually not serious.

hit by an 18-wheeler

However, when a passenger vehicle is hit by a semi-truck, the results can be devastating. Truck accidents are often much more severe than other types of crashes. If you were injured in a crash with a semi-truck, get legal assistance from an experienced Houston truck accident attorney.

More Serious Injuries

Accidents with trucks often cause serious injuries such as neck and back injuries, head trauma, broken bones, internal injuries, crush injuries, lacerations and contusions, and more. Your injuries may require extensive medical treatment that might include multiple surgeries and rehabilitation that could last for years.

Some injuries are life-threatening and life-changing. A traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury could leave you or your loved one with a disability. These are situations that will require care and treatment for the rest of your life. Wait until you are certain of the extent of your injuries to accept any settlement offer from the insurance company.

If you accept a settlement offer, you will usually be precluded from taking any further legal action against the party. Unfortunately, the settlement from the insurance company may not even cover all of your medical expenses, let alone your emotional distress, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that you get the maximum compensation possible to help you recover from your losses after a truck accident.

Truck Accidents are More Complex

Not only are truck accidents often more serious, but they also have more complicated causes and contributing factors. An accident may be caused by negligence by the driver, the trucking company, or even the manufacturer of the truck or its components. Trucks are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) under the U.S. Department of Transportation.

There are many rules and regulations that trucking companies and truck owners and drivers must follow before they can safely drive on the roadways. Sometimes these rules are not followed and the result is a serious or fatal crash. Often, the crash could have been prevented if the rules and laws were followed.

Trucking companies often employ large law firms that will immediately work on an accident case to disprove negligence. Your attorney needs to gather the evidence to show that the driver, trucking company, or manufacturer was at fault for the crash. It is imperative you choose a highly experienced Houston truck accident attorney who knows how to get the evidence needed to prove your case.

Your attorney must take a strong approach to get you the compensation you deserve. We have helped thousands of truck accident victims get the money they were owed. If you or a loved one were hurt in a truck accident, we can help.

Talk With a Real Truck Accident Attorney

Call 281-893-0760 to speak with a leading 18-Wheeler accident attorney in Houston.

 

Should I Talk to the Trucking Company’s Insurance Company After an Accident?

 

 

The hours and days following a severe truck accident are spent recovering from your injuries. Being involved in a crash with a truck is often a traumatic and life-changing experience. While you are concentrating on your health, the trucking company’s insurance company is probably tracking you down to obtain a statement.

 

They could offer you an insurance check quickly after the incident. Many people take this offer, but this could be a mistake. It is always best to discuss the matter with an experienced Houston truck accident attorney before you talk to the trucking company’s insurance company representative.

 

What the Insurance Company Does Not Tell You

 

The insurance company will want to talk to you to get a statement about the accident. Know that the insurance company records these conversations and can use what you say against you later. While the insurance company representative may sound sincere and compassionate, know the primary purpose is to reduce or eliminate the money that the company pays out for your damages.

 

If the truck driver or trucking company was negligent and the accident was more than half their fault, you are owed money for your injuries and other damages such as lost wages and money for pain and suffering. The insurance company may offer you a fast payment. Although it may be tempting to take this offer, you may deny it and should not agree to accept a settlement unless you are sure it is a fair amount.

 

If you agree to a settlement, you are signing away your right to take any further action. However, often the settlement they offer is much too low or does not include the damages you incurred.

 

Why Seek a Consultation

 

Instead, talk to a qualified Houston truck accident attorney before you speak to the insurance company or accept their offer. At the very least, it is imperative that your injury is healed before they provide payment. If not, you could find there are many additional medical and rehabilitative expenses you will pay for out of your pocket.

 

How an Experienced Houston Truck Accident Attorney Will Help

 

The last thing you need after getting hit by an 18 wheeler is to have to deal with insurance companies. You do not need the stress in your life, especially at this challenging time. Instead, count on your attorney to handle the legal issues and protect your rights. You need guidance from an attorney with years of experience negotiating with insurance companies to obtain fair settlements for their injured clients.

You deserve to get the compensation you need to pay for your current and future medical bills, costs for rehabilitative care, money for wages you lost due to the accident and compensation for pain and suffering.

 

Contact our Greg Baumgartner’s legal team today to discuss your case.

 

 

 

Call Us at 281-893-0760

 

 

 

Resources

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CP/htm/CP.33.htm

 

What is Contributory Negligence and How Does it Affect My Truck Accident Case?

 

When involved in an accident with a big rig in Texas, you may wonder which party was at fault. Generally, one driver might be more at fault for the accident than the other. Sometimes both drivers did something wrong that contributed to the crash. Most states have contributory negligence statues in place that limit when injured parties may collect on personal injury claims if they are partly to blame. Texas utilizes a 51% rule for truck accidents and other personal injury cases.

Understanding Contributory Negligence

In most accidents, one or both parties were negligent. Negligence simply means that the driver was doing something that they knew, or should have known, could cause an accident or injuries. Sometimes one driver is responsible for the accident. However, sometimes, both drivers did something that may have been negligent.

Contributory negligence is also known as proportionate responsibility. According to Texas law, someone who files a claim cannot recover damages if they were over 50% responsible for the accident. Therefore, you can only get damages for your injuries if the other driver was over 50% negligent.

More than one party can hold some responsibility for an accident. For example, one driver may be negligent by disobeying a red light. However, the other driver could be found partly negligent were they speeding at the time of the incident. A portion of negligence is ascribed to each driver. Damages are recovered according to the percentage of negligence apportioned. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. If you are over 50% at fault you may not collect damages for a personal injury claim.

Determining Fault in Truck Accident Cases

Determining fault in an accident is not a simple process. It should be left to professionals with experience in reviewing accident details. If you have been hit by an 18-wheeler, the insurance company will likely contact you following an accident. It is usually best to discuss the matter with a qualified Houston truck accident attorney before you speak with an insurance representative. Remember that the insurance company will often try to keep from paying claims and what you say could be used against you later.

In some accidents, it is easy to determine fault, but often it can be a complicated situation. The police report, witness statements, and video surveillance footage can all be useful in determining how the accident happened. Sometimes, accident reconstruction is necessary to discover what occurred before, during, and after a crash.

The accident can be even more complicated when multiple vehicles are involved. One factor may be considered to be a major contributor to the crash and others that are minor. These factors must be considered when determining fault.

If you were injured in a truck accident it is best to have an experienced truck accident attorney on your side.

 

Contact the Houston truck accident law firm for a no-cost consultation to talk about your case.

Call 281-893-0760     24/7

 

 

 

Resources

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CP/htm/CP.33.htm

 

What You Need to Know About Proving Liability of Truck Wrecks

 

Most serious injury and wrongful death cases involving an 18-wheeler are investigated at the scene by the Highway Patrol or other police officer and insurance company for the truck driver and trucking company.

lawyer for trucking accident

Typically, hundreds of photographs are taken; the scene is surveyed digitally to show important pieces of evidence such as skid marks and vehicle parts.

 

The victim’s family very should secure a real truck accident attorney (one with a long track record of success with truck accidents) and not just an attorney who wants to handle the case or claims to be a truck accident lawyer.

 

The earlier the family retains a truck accident lawyer the better for the truck accident lawsuit.

 

What is the Reconstruction of an Accident?

 

Reconstruction is really a reenactment of the crash.

 

Some truck accidents are witnessed by many people and what happened is not in dispute. Other times, there will be video either on board the big rig or local video from businesses nearby. But the vast majority of serious injury or wrongful death truck wrecks involve a reconstruction of the accident by expert witnesses.

 

The saying “there are always two sides to the coin” applies to lawsuits involving truck wrecks. Folks usually assume that when the truck driver was ticketed liability is settled. Unfortunately, that is not how it works in Texas. Unless the investigating officers were qualified to reconstruct the accident and actually did so, their opinions are not admissible.

 

An accident reconstruction expert will use information gathered at the scene with computer-aided reenactments and witness accounts and peace the accident scenario together for presentation to the judge with the jury.

 

Typically, the insurance defense lawyer will have an accident reconstruction whose opinions are always wasn’t the truck drivers’ fault, even though the truck driver was ticketed for his conduct.

 

Hiring an attorney early after the crash gives the victim a better chance of fighting the insurance companies attempt to shift the blame.

 

 

Get a Qualified Lawyer

 

If an attorney for a big rig collision cannot quote sections of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, by heart- you have the wrong person.

 

Many trucks now have GPS devises or “trip master” computers onboard that record important information such as speed, braking and hours of operation and the victim’s family needs an attorney knowledgeable about such matters and prepared to act quickly to preserve important evidence and also one with a quick response team ready to get to the scene of the wreck.

 

Often, issues such as the condition of the tractor-trailer, including brakes, loaded weight, and non-compliance with the safety regulations like hours of operation are very important in establishing the proper responsibility for the accident. Investigation of 18-wheeler accidents should be handled by attorneys well versed in regulating trucks and drivers and experienced in the reconstruction of 18-wheeler accident cases.

 

A lawyer investigating an 18-wheeler accident where braking is an issue should know of the air brake systems of both tractor and trailer, proper slack adjuster settings, and be well versed in applying the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations applicable to brakes.

 

On the ground evidence, such a braking, yaw or skid marks and marks showing the point of impact can be very important as the insurance companies for the truck driver always try to shift responsibility to others, and primarily the victim for the accident.

 

Most folks assume the because a ticket was issued that the matter of liability is settled-that is not the case, seldom do tickets come into evidence in a wrongful death case with an 18-wheeler. Usually, the officer’s opinions on the cause of the crash are not heard by the jury.

 

Gathering irrefutable facts from the scene soon is the proper course of action for defeating the insurance companies blame shifting defenses.

 

Most of the time, the trucking company has the advantage time wise. While the victim is in the hospital, the team for the motor carrier is at the scene and working to create defenses to a claim.

 

Getting the best 18-wheeler accident law firm on your side must be a priority.

 

Call us for a no-obligation consultation- (281) 893-0760.

The NHTSA and Keeping Commercial Vehicle Accident Statistics about Texas

 

NHTSA and truck accidents

 

While it is at the least disheartening to realize that one of the responsibilities of a government organization is to maintain fatality statistics related to highway deaths, in fact, that is one of the reasons for the existence of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

 

The average Texan believes that a truck accident would never strike their families. But one look at the numbers and it becomes immediately apparent that safety on Texas highways is often not much more than a crapshoot.

 

It is not a secret that Texas has more fatal accidents involving commercial vehicles than any other state. The high number of fatal crashes is a result of several factors, the main one being the sheer number of big rigs that cross Texas each and every day. Many truck accidents occur on Interstate 45, or I-10 outside of Houston.

 

Let us consider the data truck accident data for Texas from 2004 to 2008. According to the NHTSA, the number of 18-wheeler fatal accidents has shown an annual decline from a high of 3700 to the most recent figure of slightly less than 3500. This drop of represents an increase in saved lives due to a combination of factors and clearly is a step in the right direction.

 

However, after 2008 the number of big rigs on the highways has increased at a steady rate and the number of fatal crashes has also followed the trend. More freight means more big rigs on the road and an increased chance of an accident.

 

NHTSA data also reveals that Texas rates well above average in alcohol-related highway deaths and drunk driving accidents.

 

In addition, Texas ranks well above the national average in fatalities where the front seat passenger was using a seatbelt, which may be attributed to higher speed driving.  Each of these areas needs focus, from all of us, from the Texas legislature on down.

 

Finally, one of the focal points of this blog is anything related to semi-trucks including safety, accidents, and deaths. The NHTSA data confirms that deaths from semi-truck accidents in Texas hover around two percent of the annual total fatality figures.

 

To my way of thinking, highway safety is a collective concern and we all need to understand that with a blink of an eye, an 18-wheeler accident can devastate a family.

 

For those wanting to be safer drivers on the highway around big rigs here is an article about avoiding blind spots.

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