Texas has the unfortunate distinction of leading the nation in fatalities involving 18-wheelers. In 2020, there were 22,214 crashes, with 414 of them being fatal. While this number is alarming, it is possible to take steps to prevent these accidents from happening.
What can we do to reduce the number of these accidents and keep Texans safe on the roads? Let’s take a closer look at this issue.
Multiple causes are behind the problem
18-wheeler accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. While some people may think that these accidents are solely the truck driver’s fault, this is not always the case. Multiple factors can contribute to a commercial truck accident, and it is important to understand what they are to prevent them from happening.
The early days of 2020 saw a decrease in traffic. Those drivers who were on the road had the opportunity to drive faster. Since then, traffic has increased but drivers are still driving aggressively, including cutting in front of 18-wheelers.
Another cause of accidents is tired drivers who get “highway hypnosis”, a trance-like state caused by monotony and fatigue. When truck drivers enter this state, their mind wanders, and their reaction time slows. Unfortunately, a shortage of commercial drivers doesn’t help the situation.
To combat the problem, the Texas Department of Transportation and metropolitan planning organizations are working on different initiatives with the goal to eliminate roadway fatalities by 2050.
Despite the high number of fatalities involving 18-wheelers in Texas, much can be done to prevent these accidents. Always be aware of your surroundings and give trucks plenty of room to maneuver. If you see a truck driver braking or changing lanes, slow down and allow them plenty of space. We can all help make our roads safer for everyone by following these simple tips.
If you are injured in a wreck with a big rig, make sure you explore all available legal options to recover your losses.