Texas Truck Accidents In The Rio Grande Valley – 2023

Texas Leads The Nation In Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are everywhere. From California to Maine and everywhere in between, it’s hard to avoid them.

But one state always seems to have these types of accidents more frequently.

You guessed it, Texas.

The state has consistently held the #1 slot for trucking-related fatalities since 2017. According to Forbes, it ranks among the top states with a higher risk of automobile accidents.

With Texas’ massive population, extensive highways, and millions of cars on the road, it makes sense that they hold the top spot.

However, some regions in the Lone Star State seem to experience more truck-related accidents than the rest.

One region that produces a staggering number of accidents is the Rio Grande Valley.

Today, we’ll explore the 2023 truck accident statistics in the Rio Grande Valley and the necessary steps to take if you’ve sustained injuries in a truck accident.

Let’s start by digging into the overall Texas truck statistics for 2023.

Texas Truck Accidents In 2023

Texas has been leading the nation in trucking-related deaths and accidents every year since 2017.

Unfortunately, those trends continued in 2023.

Let’s look at the numbers:

  • 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.
  • Deaths: 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 The Rio Grande Valley?

Traffic accidents happen for many reasons, which we’ll get into throughout this article.

But in the Rio Grande Valley, there has been a noticeable increase in truck-related accidents over the past five years.

The trucking industry, as a whole, has grown significantly, around 3% – 6% each year. When you factor in population expansion and other new developments, it’s not surprising that truck-related accidents have risen.

It’s important to understand why the Rio Grande Valley is one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States. So, let’s break down a few key factors contributing to the boom.

The Rio Grande Valley Is Booming!

The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) is experiencing rapid growth for several reasons:

  1. Population Increase
    The RGV is home to an estimated 2.67 million people, making it one of the largest border regions with Mexico, surpassing some major U.S. metropolitan areas. Its population is projected to nearly double by 2045, driven by employment growth.
  1. Economic Opportunities
    The RGV’s strategic location and commitment to agriculture have historically driven economic growth. It serves as a crucial hub for exports, particularly crops like citrus and sugar cane, and benefits from its proximity to Monterrey, Mexico, a significant economic center.
  1. Investment and Development
    Recent developments, such as establishing the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, have built a strong foundation for growth. Initiatives like this have improved the region’s governance, healthcare, education, and transportation planning.
  1. SpaceX Influence
    Placing a SpaceX launch site in Brownsville has brought opportunities and challenges. While it has spurred local economic development and buzz about the region, it also raises questions about environmental risks, job recruitment, housing affordability, and general approaches to development. Nonetheless, it has contributed to the RGV’s nationwide recognition.
  1. Emerging Research and Collaboration
    The RGV is gaining attention as researchers and practitioners recognize its potential and unique challenges. Urban planning researchers and institutions, such as the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, are poised to lead efforts to address urban issues, including transportation, housing, economic inequality, and climate change.

Even though we can’t be sure what will happen in the RGV’s future, all these factors make it a place that more people may call home.

What Should You Do If You’ve Been In An 18-Wheeler/Tractor-Trailor Accident?

If you’ve been in an 18-wheeler accident, it can be terrifying and dangerous. Knowing what to do is important if you are in this situation.

We’ll walk you through each step, from ensuring your safety to protecting your legal rights.

1. Prioritize Safety

First and foremost, make sure you and any others involved are safe. If possible, move to a secure location away from the road to avoid further collisions or injuries. Turn on your hazard lights and set up warning triangles or flares if you have them. Safety should always be your top priority. Stay calm as you assess the situation.

2. Contact Law Enforcement

Call the police or local law enforcement to report the accident. Provide them with accurate information about the location, the vehicles involved, and any injuries. Having a police report can be crucial for insurance claims and legal proceedings. Even if the accident seems minor, involving the authorities is recommended.

3. Seek Medical Attention

If you or anyone involved in the accident is injured, seek medical attention. Even if injuries appear minor, some symptoms may worsen over time. Document all injuries and follow medical advice closely.

4. Exchange Information

Exchange contact and insurance information with the truck driver and any witnesses.

Gather the following details:

  • Name, address, and phone number of the truck driver.
  • The trucking company’s name, contact information, and insurance details.
  • License plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the truck.
  • Names and contact information of any witnesses.

Accurate information exchange is vital for insurance claims and potential legal actions. Use your smartphone to take photos of the truck, its license plate, and any visible damages.

5. Document the Scene

Take photos of the accident, including vehicle damage, skid marks, road conditions, and traffic signals or signs. This documentation will be valuable evidence later. Visual evidence can be crucial in determining fault and liability. Capture as many details as possible, even if they seem minor.

6. Do Not Admit Fault

Avoid discussing the accident’s details or admitting fault with the truck driver, witnesses, or insurance representatives. Stick to factual information when providing statements to the police.

Protecting your legal rights is essential by not making statements that somebody could use against you later. Let the authorities and insurance companies conduct their investigations.

7. Contact Your Insurance Company

Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Provide them with accurate information and cooperate fully with their requests. Notify your insurer to initiate the claims process. Be truthful and thorough when describing the accident to your insurance representative.

8. Consult with an Attorney

If you’ve suffered injuries or extensive damage, consider chatting with a personal injury attorney specializing in truck accidents. They can help you navigate legal options, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights.

An experienced attorney can be a valuable advocate, especially when dealing with large trucking companies and their insurers. They can assess the strength of your case and advise you on potential legal actions.

9. Preserve Evidence

Keep all documents related to the accident, including medical records, repair estimates, and conversations with insurance companies. This documentation will be essential for any potential legal claims.

Properly preserving evidence ensures you have the documentation to support your claims and actions if you pursue legal remedies.

10. Stay Informed

Stay informed about the progress of your case, any potential legal actions, and insurance settlements. Your attorney will guide you through the process and keep you updated.

Knowledge is power. Stay engaged in the resolution process to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Remember that every accident is unique, and your steps may vary depending on the circumstances. Consulting with legal professionals and following their guidance is crucial to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your loved ones.

Understanding the Leading Causes Of Truck Accidents In Texas

As you’ve read above, truck accidents are a big issue in Texas, and understanding why they happen can help prevent future road problems.

Here are the biggest reasons why truck accidents happen in Texas:

Driver Fatigue
Fatigue happens to us all. Imagine spending long hours driving the open highways, trying to meet tight delivery schedules, and struggling to find rest breaks. It’s a recipe for disaster. Fatigued drivers often find themselves battling drooping eyelids, impaired judgment, and lowered reaction times.

The danger lies in the fact that these drivers may only realize the extent of their exhaustion once it’s too late. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration only allows a trucker to drive up to 11 hours in a 14-hour window. It also states that a driver must be off duty for ten or more hours before starting driving again.

Speeding
Speeding isn’t just breaking the law; it’s also risking safety. In Texas, where roads can go straight for miles without a turn, speeding trucks can be hazardous. Whether it’s because they have to deliver things quickly or in a hurry, trucks that go faster than they should or don’t slow down in harsh conditions make the road more dangerous for everyone else.

Distracted Driving
In an era of smartphones and constant communication, distracted driving is a major concern among truck drivers. Multitasking behind the wheel has become an epidemic.

Mobile devices, navigation systems, and many other distractions divert a driver’s attention from the road.

Impaired Driving
The use of alcohol and drugs while driving continues to haunt Texas highways. Drivers under the influence of a substance pose a massive risk to themselves and others.

Truckers are drug tested periodically using outdated urine testing. However, Congress passed the FAST Act 2015 to combat prolonged drug abuse by allowing the Department of Transportation to require hair follicle testing.

Poor Maintenance
Neglected maintenance and faulty equipment can turn trucks into ticking time bombs. Brake issues, tire blowouts, and other mechanical failures can cause disaster. Ensuring that trucks are in top working condition and adhering to federal maintenance laws are essential to preventing accidents.

Aggressive and Reckless Driving
Aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, unsafe lane changes, and reckless driving make roads terrifying. With their limited maneuverability and extended stopping distances, large trucks become particularly dangerous when driven aggressively. The rush to meet deadlines and outpace traffic leads to accidents that could have been avoided.

Overloaded Cargo
Commercial truck drivers must walk a fine line regarding cargo. Exceeding weight limits makes trucks harder to control and increases accident risks. But it’s not just about weight; it’s also about balance and secure fastening. Shifted cargo can transform a truck into a potential hazard, particularly when navigating curves or making sudden stops.

Improper or Inadequate Driver Training
New drivers often find themselves at the wheel of large trucks without the experience to handle them safely. While many trucking companies provide training, being on the road is a new ballgame. Inexperienced drivers navigating through heavy traffic or tough weather conditions can pose risks to themselves and others. Proper training and preparation are key for ensuring the safety of these novice drivers.

Knowing these primary reasons for truck accidents in Texas helps us see the problems on our roads more clearly.

To make the roads safer in Texas, we need to focus on things like road safety rules, teaching drivers better, and having strict rules for the trucking industry.

This way, we can lower the number of truck accidents and protect people’s lives on Texas roads.

Tragic Truck Accidents That Occurred In The Rio Grande Valley In 2023

Losing a loved one or being injured in an accident is terrible. The Rio Grande Valley was no stranger to fatal and disastrous events in 2023.

Here are a few major accident stories from the year:

  • In January 2023, three men died in a fatal accident when their car failed to yield the right of way and was struck by a semi-truck north of Edcouch. The car’s driver survived, but her three passengers lost their lives. The semi-truck driver was unharmed but taken to a hospital as a precaution.
  • In April 2023, a man named Francisco Guadalupe Salinas Casas, aged 47, lost his life in a devastating 18-wheeler collision on Toll Road 550. This tragic incident unfolded when his tractor-trailer, carrying hazardous-flammable cargo, veered out of control at an excessive speed, ultimately colliding with a concrete barrier and overturning, leading to a fatal inferno at the scene.
  • In December 2023, a tractor-trailer accident occurred near Highway 83 near Los Botines, injuring three individuals. The driver of the 18-wheeler became trapped inside the vehicle until responders arrived, and one of the injured parties was reportedly in a severe condition.

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 car 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 important.

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 the Rio Grande Valley.

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.