Truck Accidents In Houston On I-45 North – 2023

Interstate 45 stretches north to south from Dallas, Texas, to Galveston, Texas, covering over 284 miles. The highway construction project was approved by the Texas State Highway Commission in 1962, around the same time as Interstate 10 in Houston.

As the major connector between the two largest cities in Texas, Houston and Dallas, I-45 has been the bedrock of transportation for passenger cars and tractor-trailers.

The busiest and most congested traffic on I-45 is arguably North Houston. Leaving Houston and heading for the Woodlands, Conroe, or even Dallas poses challenges daily.

The hustle and bustle of commuters leaving downtown Houston and heading toward their northern destination can cause collisions in the blink of an eye.

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, with over 2.3 million residents. With more drivers on the road come traffic. According to the American Transportation Research Institute, Texas had 13 of the top 100 worst truck bottleneck zones.

A bottleneck zone is where substantial traffic and congestion are present; this can easily lead to accidents and other road incidents.

Texas also leads the country in truck-related accidents.

Today, we’ll dive into these accidents that plague not just Houston and I-10 but the rest of the state.

We’ll discuss some of the major accidents in 2023, why truck-related accidents happen, and what you can do if you have been in an accident involving an 18-wheeler in Houston.

Let’s begin by understanding the Texas trucking accident statistics…

2023 Statistics – Texas Truck Accidents

Since 2017, Texas has been leading the nation in trucking-related deaths and accidents. This powerful statistic echoes the need for change on Texas roadways.

Unfortunately, those trends continued in 2023.

Here are the statistics for last year:

  • Total Truck Accidents: According to the latest available statistics, Texas reported a jaw-dropping total of 12,542 truck-related accidents during 2023. This number includes a broad spectrum of incidents, ranging from collisions involving commercial trucks to encounters with semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and other large vehicles.
  • Fatalities: Sadly, in those 12,542 truck accidents in Texas during 2023, 563 people died. Furthermore, in the state of Texas, there were over 4,700 traffic-related deaths in 2023, and truck accidents accounted for 12% of all fatalities on the road.
  • Injuries: The total number of people injured in truck accidents in Texas was relatively high, as expected, totaling 8,710 individuals who suffered some sort of injury.

Why Do Truck Accidents Happen In Houston On I-45 North?

There can be several reasons why traffic accidents occur, which we will dive into throughout the article.

Unfortunately, truck-related accidents in Houston along I-45 North are a common sight for residents and drivers.

However, understanding why the Houston/Gulf Coast region is growing year over year is essential to the increase in truck-related accidents.

So, let’s break down a few key factors contributing to the boom.

Houston Gulf Coast Region Growth

The Houston/Gulf Coast region has been on a significant growth trajectory for the last 10+ years. According to the Texas Comptroller, the Houston/Gulf Coast region, which covers over 13,000 square miles, had almost 500 billion dollars in gross domestic product in 2020.

Harris County, where Houston is located and where Interstate 10 passes through, is the primary economic center of the Houston/Gulf Coast region.

Let’s dive right into the numbers:

  • The population increased by 19.9% between 2010 and 2020 – this is 4% more than the Texas population growth during that time (15.9%)
  • The region employed more than 3.2 million workers in 2020 and had a 15.2% increase in job growth from 2010 to 2020 (almost 2% less than the state of Texas)
  • Median household income also increased by 22.5% during that period, which was a 2% higher growth rate than Texas

The Houston/Gulf Coast region continues steadily climbing as one of the world’s most influential cities.

Why Do Truck Accidents Happen?

As mentioned before, Houston and Texas, as a state, see a lot of truck accidents, so it’s important to know why they happen to prevent more crashes in the future.

Even if drivers are careful, accidents can still happen because of things like being distracted or driving too fast. So, it’s crucial to understand these reasons to make roads safer.

Let’s jump into the most common reasons truck collisions happen in Houston:

1. Driver Fatigue

Long hours on the road, tight delivery schedules, and short rest breaks create a dicey situation for truck drivers. Fatigue leads to drooping eyelids, impaired judgment, and slower reaction times, increasing the risk of accidents. Federal regulations mandate rest periods, but exhaustion often goes unnoticed until it’s too late.

2. Speeding

Exceeding speed limits violates traffic laws and puts safety on the back burner. Speeding trucks pose a more significant hazard in Texas, where roads stretch miles without curves. Whether driven by urgency or pressure to meet deadlines, speeding trucks endanger other road users, especially under challenging conditions such as weather.

3. Distracted Driving

In an age where we are all addicted to our phones, distracted driving has become a massive problem among truckers and other drivers as well. Distractions such as smartphones and navigation systems can divert attention from the road, increasing the risk of accidents.

4. Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs remains an issue across the country, and unfortunately, truck drivers are not immune. Intoxicated drivers endanger themselves and others. While regular drug testing is in place across trucking companies, measures like hair follicle testing are being implemented to address prolonged substance abuse as well.

5. Poor Maintenance

Neglected maintenance and faulty equipment transform trucks into potential hazards. Brake malfunctions, tire blowouts, and other mechanical failures can lead to catastrophic accidents. Adherence to maintenance regulations put forth by the state and federal agencies is vital for ensuring truck safety.

6. Aggressive and Reckless Driving

Behaviors like tailgating and reckless lane changes make roads dangerous for everyone. With their limited maneuverability and longer stopping distances, large trucks become especially hazardous when driven aggressively. Meeting deadlines at the expense of safety often results in avoidable accidents.

7. Overloaded Cargo

Balancing cargo weight within limits is critical for truck safety. Overloading compromises control and increases accident risks, especially with improper cargo securing. Shifting cargo can turn a truck into a potential danger, particularly during lane changes or sudden stops.

8. Inadequate Driver Training

As Time magazine reported, new drivers often lack the experience to operate large trucks safely. While some receive training, real-world driving adds unique challenges. Inexperienced drivers navigating heavy traffic or harsh weather conditions pose risks to themselves and others. Comprehensive training and preparation are essential for enhancing safety.

Understanding these common reasons for truck collisions in Texas sheds light on our roadway challenges. To increase safety, stricter enforcement of road regulations, improved driver education, and stringent industry standards are necessary.

We can limit truck accidents and protect lives on Texas roads by addressing these issues.

Top Injuries From Truck-Related Accidents

Accidents involving big trucks like tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers often cause serious injuries. This happens because these trucks are much larger and heavier than regular passenger cars.

Drivers must be extra cautious around tractor-trailers to avoid accidents and serious injuries.

Here are some of the most common injuries from accidents involving an 18-wheeler:

1. Whiplash and Neck Injuries

The sudden impact of a truck collision can cause a rapid back-and-forth movement in the driver’s head and neck, leading to severe whiplash. These injuries can range from slight discomfort that can be resolved over time to severe pain and long-term mobility issues.

2. Spinal Cord Injuries

The sheer force of a truck collision can crush the spinal cord in an instant, resulting in partial or, in some cases, complete paralysis. Spinal cord injuries tend to have lifelong consequences and can require permanent in-home care.

3. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

TBIs are common in truck-related accidents and can range from minor concussions or contusions to severe brain problems. Victims can have cognitive impairments, memory loss, and sudden personality changes.

4. Broken Bones and Fractures

Bones can easily break in truck-related accidents. Common fractures include those in the arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis (since accidents happen while people are sitting).

5. Internal Injuries (Bleeding)

Blunt force trauma from a truck accident can cause severe internal injuries like organ damage, internal bleeding, or even ruptured organs. These injuries can go unnoticed but do require immediate medical attention.

6. Lacerations and Abrasions

During an accident, glass and metal debris are usually flying around. These fragments can cause cuts, deep lacerations, and abrasions. In some instances, stitches may be required to stop the bleeding.

7. Crush Injuries

Drivers of smaller passenger vehicles that crash into 18-wheelers may suffer crush injuries. Since tractor-trailers are 5X the size, crush injuries can lead to tissue damage, nerve injury, and other severe complications.

8. Burns

In rare incidents, truck-related accidents can lead to fires or explosions. During these events, drivers and passengers may experience thermal or chemical burns from hazardous materials like gasoline.

9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Survivors of truck accidents may experience long-term psychological trauma. They may experience symptoms like nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and depression. If left untreated, the person’s quality of life will likely be affected.

10. Fatalities

In some cases, truck accidents can result in death due to the catastrophic nature of the collisions.

Overall, truck-related accidents can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor bruises to life-altering disabilities and fatalities.

Seeking immediate medical attention and legal assistance following a truck accident is crucial to ensuring proper treatment and pursuing compensation for damages incurred.

Truck Accidents In Houston On I-45 North – 2023

When passenger cars meet the force of an 18-wheeler, the results can often be deadly.

Here are a few major accident stories on I-45 North in Houston from the year:

  • February 2023 – A fiery crash between an SUV and an 18-wheeler left one person dead at the scene. The collision occurred just before 3 a.m.
  • September 2023– A nearly 7-hour delay happened on I-45 North after the cargo from an 18-wheeler was scattered all over the highway; luckily, no one was injured.
  • December 2023 – One person died after a major accident between a passenger car and an 18-wheeler. The driver of the smaller passenger car crashed into the parked 18-wheeler, killing the driver of the semi-truck.

How Can Abraham Watkins Help You After A Truck Accident

At Abraham Watkins, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a truck accident can take on victims and their families.

The aftermath can be overwhelming.

In these challenging times, our experienced team of truck accident attorneys steps in to provide you with the support, guidance, and advocacy you need.

Why You Need a Specialized Truck Accident Attorney

Truck accidents are not your typical passenger accidents.

They involve complex factors, including federal regulations, multiple liable parties, and substantial damages. That’s why having a legal team with specialized knowledge and a proven track record in handling truck accident cases is essential.

Our dedicated truck accident attorneys deeply understand the unique aspects of these cases. We know how to investigate, negotiate, and litigate effectively to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Here’s how Abraham Watkins can assist you in the aftermath of a truck accident:

  • Thorough Investigation: We start by conducting a comprehensive investigation into the accident. This includes examining the accident scene, collecting evidence, reviewing police reports, and interviewing witnesses. We aim to establish liability and build a strong case on your behalf.
  • Identifying Liable Parties: Truck accidents often involve multiple parties, such as the truck driver, the trucking company, maintenance crews, and manufacturers. We determine all potentially liable parties to ensure no stone is left unturned in pursuing compensation.
  • Expert Consultations: We work with accident reconstruction specialists, medical experts, and economists to assess the extent of your injuries, property damage, and other losses. These experts help us accurately calculate the value of your claim.
  • Dealing with Insurers: Negotiating with insurance companies can be intimidating, especially when dealing with the trucking company’s insurers. Our attorneys have experience dealing with these complex negotiations and are skilled in securing fair settlements.
  • Litigation if Necessary: Our legal team is prepared to take your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations. We have a successful track record of litigating truck accident cases and are ready to fight for your rights in the courtroom.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Our primary goal is to maximize your compensation. We seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and more. We are committed to helping you rebuild your life after a truck accident.
  • Compassionate Support: We understand the physical and emotional toll a truck accident can have on victims and their families. Our legal team provides support throughout the process, answering your questions, addressing your concerns, and guiding you every step of the way.

At Abraham Watkins, our mission is to support and advocate for individuals who have suffered a truck-related accident involving injury or death.

Everyone should have the best legal representation, regardless of their financial situation.

That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis. You won’t have to worry about upfront legal fees or expenses. We only get paid when you win your case and receive the money you deserve.

What To Do Next

Contact the legal team at Abraham Watkins today if you or someone you love has suffered injury or death from a truck-related accident in Houston.

Let us put our experience and dedication to work for you, fighting tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the compensation you need to move forward. Your recovery is our top priority, and we are here to help you every step of the way.

You are not alone.

Who you hire matters.

Contact us today for a free consultation at 713-222-7211 or 1-800-870-9584.