Commercial Truck and 18-Wheeler Accidents Trending Higher in Texas
Serious and fatal commercial vehicle accidents edged higher in Texas last year, as 18-wheelers and other large trucks continued to extract a heavy toll across the Lone Star State.
Texas Commercial Vehicle Crashes Increased by More than 1,800
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 18-wheelers, trucks, and other commercial vehicles were involved in 37,515 highway accidents during 2018, an increase of 1,825 from the prior year.
TxDOT designated 1,052 crashes as serious, while 556 had fatal outcomes. Last year’s commercial vehicle accidents tragically killed 611 people and seriously injured 1,329 others.
While the prior year recorded roughly 200 more serious injuries in connection with commercial vehicle crashes, there were 25 fewer fatal accidents and nine fewer deaths during 2017.
18-Wheelers Involved in Most Texas Commercial Vehicle Crashes
The vast majority of commercial vehicle accidents that occurred in Texas last year involved 18-wheelers.
The big rigs were implicated in more than 24,600 crashes during 2018, including 465 fatal accidents. The prior year saw about 1,600 fewer 18-wheeler collisions overall, and 32 fewer deadly crashes.
While more than half of last year’s 18-wheeler accidents occurred along urban roads and highway, rural areas accounted for all but 106 fatal crashes.
Harris, Dallas Counties Led in Fatal Commercial Vehicle Crashes
According to the American Transportation Research Institute, Texas boasts 13 of the 100 worst truck bottlenecks in the United States. Nine are located within the Houston Metro Region, making it the most truck-congested in the nation. Two others can be found in Dallas.
The severe level of congestion is one reason Dallas and Harris counties led Texas in fatal commercial vehicle crashes last year, with 29 each.
Yet sparsely-populated rural counties managed to take four of the top ten spots, including Ector County, with 21 fatal crashes, Midland County with 16, Reeves County with 13, and Winkler County with 11.
Infrastructure Hasn’t Kept Pace with Permian Basin Oil Boom
According to the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance, TxDOT’s 12-county Odessa District, which includes Ector, Midland, Reeves, and Winkler, has experienced a 160% increase in commercial vehicle accidents since 2016. While just 1.6 of the Texas population resides in the District, it now accounts for 15% of the deadly commercial crashes that occur in the state every year.
These grim statistics are largely attributable to the Permian Basin oil boom, which has brought unprecedented economic growth to the Odessa District. Unfortunately, the region’s infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with demand, and its rural roads aren’t equipped to handle the increased traffic volume, especially the heavy oilfield trucks that are now a constant presence throughout west Texas.
Add in a severe labor shortage that’s forced drillers to hire thousands of inexperienced truck drivers, and it quickly becomes clear why Permian Basin roads and highways are now considered among the deadliest in state.
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If you have questions about your legal rights and options following an 18-wheeler accident, oilfield truck crash, or other commercial vehicle collision, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.
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