Texas traffic experts say that a growing number of commercial vehicles on the road may be causing a spike in traffic fatalities and injuries throughout the state. Economic booms in Eagle Ford and Cline Shale oil areas have led to a higher percentage of commercial vehicle traffic; as a result, truck accidents are becoming a serious concern. Oil and gas truck accidents are often blamed on the fact that these large vehicles are forced onto rural roads that were originally designed to handle pickup trucks and other light vehicles.
After three decades of accident rate improvements, the state of Texas is once again experiencing a resurgence of roadway fatalities and injuries. During the past two years, annual accident rates have experienced significant jumps. In 2013, for example, about 153,000 injurious and fatal accidents occurred in Texas; that is up from an all-time low of 139,000 in 2011. Texas auto accident rates had been steadily declining since 1980.
Insurance experts say that the vast majority of Texas truck accidents are preventable. About one-third of all roadway wrecks are attributable to speeding, while another third list alcohol consumption as a contributing factor. Further, commercial vehicle drivers are not immune from the temptations associated with technology-based distraction; despite safety regulations, truck drivers’ attention can still be diverted by cell phones and other devices.
The economic boom may have increased truck traffic, but gurus say that all Texans are driving more thanks to a statewide financial upswing. With more drivers on the road, accident rates are bound to increase. Motorists should be particularly cautious in areas with high volumes of commercial vehicle traffic.
Victims who have been involved in an accident with a big rig may benefit from the assistance of a Texas personal injury attorney. These professionals may provide assistance for relatives who have lost a loved one in a fatal accident, as well. Texas personal injury attorneys may serve as advocates and allies for those who are victimized by commercial truck accidents.
Source: WOAI, “Texas Seeing a Jump in Injury, Fatality Traffic Accidents” Jim Forsyth, Mar. 14, 2014