Skip to Main Content

Texas Leads the Country in Truck & 18-Wheeler Accidents in 2022

Texas Truck and 18-Wheeler Accidents Claimed 716 Lives in 2022

18-wheelers and other heavy commercial truck accidents once again killed hundreds of people across Texas last year, the continuation of a deadly trend that shows no signs of easing.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 18-wheelers, semi-trucks, and other commercial vehicles were involved in more than 38,621 collisions along the state’s roads and highways in 2022, including 612 fatal crashes that left 716 people dead.

Harris County Led Texas in Fatal Truck and 18-Wheeler Accidents

Harris County led the state in truck and 18-wheeler crashes, with 6,203, followed by Dallas County with 3,999. However, Dallas County took the lead in fatal accidents, with 52 crashes that resulted in 53 deaths. Harris County ranked second, with 47 fatal truck and 18-wheeler accidents and 48 deaths.

Three other Texas counties recorded more than 1,000 trucking-related crashes last year:

  • Bexar County: 2,250 truck accidents, including  20 fatal crashes and  22 deaths. 
  • Tarrant County: 2,120 truck accidents,  including 12 fatal crashes and 13 deaths.
  • El Paso County: 1,1019 accidents, including 8 fatal crashes and 9 deaths.

Permian Basin Truck and 18-Wheeler Accidents

Texas’s Permian Basin counties saw their share of fatal truck and 18-wheeler accidents last year, although none came close to matching the grim numbers seen in Harris, Dallas and Bexar Counties. 

According to TxDOT, the Midland/Odessa Region fared the worst.

Midland Truck Accidents took the lead, reporting a total of 502 trucking-related accidents, including 12 fatal crashes that resulted in 13 deaths.

Odessa’s home county of Ector reported 389 accidents involving commercial trucks, including 5 fatal crashes and 5 deaths.

The remaining Permian Basin counties reported the following:

  • Andrews County: 92 crashes, 8 fatal, with 17 deaths
  • BordenCounty:  3 crashes, none fatal
  • Crane County: 17 crashes, none fatal
  • Dawson County:  35 crashes, 1 fatal with 4 deaths
  • Gaines County: 32 crashes, 1 fatal with 1 death
  • Glasscock County:  19 crashes, 2 fatal with 3 deaths
  • Howard County: 33 crashes, 3 fatal with 3 deaths
  • Loving County: 37 crashes, 3 fatal with 3 deaths
  • Martin County: 107 crashes, 11 fatal with 11 deaths
  • Pecos County:  90 crashes, 4 fatal with 5 deaths
  • Reeves County: 153 crashes, 6 fatal with 6 deaths
  • Terrell County: 205 crashes, 3 fatal with 5 deaths
  • Upton County: 47 crashes, 1 fatal with 1 death
  • Ward County: 70 crashes, 2 fatal with 2 deaths
  • Winkler County: 104 crashes, 5 fatal with 5 deaths

Texas Has Led the Country in Fatal Truck Accident Since 2017

Deadly truck and 18-wheeler accidents have been trending higher across the country for several years. However, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Texas has led the nation in trucking-related fatalities every year since 2017.

While It’s not clear why Texas records so many trucking fatalities year after year, it probably doesn’t help that the Long Star State is home to four of the most dangerous highways in the nation, including three interstate highways known for heavy truck traffic.

  • I-45 from Houston to Dallas ranks as the deadliest road in the nation
  • I-30 from Aledo through Dallas on the way to North Little Rock
  • I-35 West from Hillsboro through Fort Worth on the way to Denton, Texas 
  • State Road 175 from Dallas to Jacksonville, Texas.

And while the Permian Basin oilfields have brought unprecedented growth to West Texas, the drilling boom has also led to an epidemic of severe and often fatal oilfield truck crashes.  Unfortunately, the region’s rural roads were never meant to handle the heavy trucks that are now a common sight throughout the Midland-Odessa region. The drivers operating the Permian’s fleet of oilfield trucks are often inexperienced and severely fatigued from working consecutive 12-hour shifts, adding to the crash risk.

How to Stay Safe when Driving Around Trucks and 18-Wheelers

While it’s clear that trucks and 18-wheelers pose a significant threat to Texas motorists, there are precautions drivers can take to lessen the likelihood of an accident:

  • Stay Out of Blind Spots: Trucks have large blind spots on all sides, especially on the right side and directly behind them. If you can’t see the truck driver in their side mirror, they likely can’t see you.
  • Maintain a Safe Following Distance: Keep a significant distance between your vehicle and the truck in front of you. A general rule of thumb is to stay at least one car length behind the truck for every 10 mph you’re traveling.
  • Avoid Cutting-Off Trucks: Trucks take longer to stop due to their size and weight. Never cut off a big rig, and allow for plenty of space when merging in front of a truck.
  • Use Turn Signals Early: Signal your intentions well in advance to give truck drivers ample time to react, especially when merging onto highways or changing lanes.
  • Pass Safely: When passing an 18-wheeler, do so on the left side and maintain a consistent speed. Avoid lingering in the truck’s blind spot, and make sure you can see the entire truck in your rearview mirror before merging back into the right lane.
  • Don’t Tailgate: Tailgating a truck is dangerous because it limits visibility and reaction time. Leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the truck.
  • Be Patient: Recognize that 18-wheelers and other heavy trucks need more time to accelerate, climb hills, or maneuver through traffic. Be patient and avoid aggressive driving behaviors.
  • Observe No-Zones: The areas directly behind and beside a truck are known as “No-Zones.” Avoid driving in these areas, as the truck driver may not be able to see you.
  • Use Your Mirrors: Check your mirrors frequently to stay aware of the positions and movements of nearby trucks. This helps you anticipate their actions.
  • Watch for Wide Turns: Be cautious when an 18-wheeler  is making a right turn, as they will need extra space. Don’t try to squeeze by on the right.
  • Be Mindful of Weather Conditions: Trucks can be more challenging to control in adverse weather conditions. If you’re driving in rain, snow, or fog, give big rigs even more space and slow down accordingly.
  • Avoid Distracted Driving: Never engage in activities that divert your attention from driving, such as texting or using a smartphone. Distracted driving increases the risk of accidents, especially around large trucks.
  • Use Your Headlights: In low visibility conditions or at night, always use your headlights, even during the day.
  • Stay Calm and Patient: Aggressive driving around trucks can lead to dangerous situations. Stay calm, be patient, and remember that everyone on the road is trying to reach their destination safely.
  • Be Aware of Tire Debris: Trucks are more likely to experience tire blowouts, which can result in tire debris on the road. If you see tire debris, slow down and cautiously maneuver around it.

What to Do After a Truck or 18-Wheeler Accident

If you are involved in a truck accident, don’t expect the trucking company to step up to take care of you and your family, even if the company’s driver was clearly at fault.

Unfortunately, the trucking company and its insurer are only interested in avoiding responsibility and paying accident victims as little as possible. That’s why it’s so crucial to act quickly to protect your rights and your family’s future:

  • Call the Authorities: Contact the police or highway patrol to report the accident, even if it seems minor. A police report will be essential for insurance claims and legal purposes. Follow their instructions and provide all necessary information.
  • Gather Information: Gather information from the truck driver and anyone who was involved in or witnessed the crash, including names and contact information, the truck’s license plate number and DOT number;  the trucking company’s name and contact information; the trucker’s CDL number, and the license numbers of any other vehicles involved.
  • Document the Scene: If it’s safe, take pictures or videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, road conditions, and any relevant traffic signs or signals. These photos can be valuable evidence later.
  • Seek Medical Treatment: Not not all injuries are immediately apparent after a crash. As a precaution and to ensure any injuries you suffered are fully documented,  you’ll want to get checked out at the ER or urgent care, even if you were hurt.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the necessary details and cooperate fully with their investigation.
  • Don’t Speak with the Trucking Company’s Adjuster: Speaking with the trucking company’s claims adjuster, giving a recorded statement, or signing anything could jeopardize your right to obtain compensation for all of your injuries and losses.
  • Follow Medical Advice: If you receive medical treatment, follow the advice of healthcare professionals for your recovery. Keep records of all medical bills and treatments related to the accident.

Whatever you do, do not try to negotiate with the trucking company and its insurer on your own. Your best course of action is to hire an experienced Texas Truck Accident Lawyer with a proven history of success against the largest truck and transportation companies in the country.

Contact our Undefeated Texas Truck Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by Clicking Here

Our Undefeated Texas 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers have won Billions for our clients, including Record-Breaking Verdicts and Settlements for truck accident victims across Texas and throughout the United States.

If you or a loved one were injured in a Texas Truck or 18-Wheeler Accident, call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

All consultations are free, and you’ll pay nothing unless we win your case.