How Common Are Truck Accidents in Texas?
Trucks are everywhere in the great state of Texas. Every year, truck drivers log millions of miles on Texas interstates, roads, and highways. Unfortunately, it’s not always safe to share the road with a big rig, semi-truck, or tractor-trailer.
These are large, heavy vehicles that are tough to navigate. They don’t stop on a dime and can’t be maneuvered with ease. Thanks to momentum, they can do a lot of damage in a very short amount of time if they’re involved in a crash.
How Many Truck Accidents Are There in the United States?
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were roughly 450,000 truck accidents across the country in 2017. This marked a 9 percent increase in truck accidents from the prior year.
Nearly one out of every four truck accidents in 2017 caused an injury. About one percent of those crashes were fatal.
Texas Truck Accident Statistics
Truck accidents happen every day in the state of Texas. Despite vigorous efforts to make roads safer for trucks and other vehicles, accidents have occurred with greater frequency in recent years.
- 2014: 23,397
- 2015: 23,811
- 2016: 23,014
- 2017: 24,818
- 2018: 26,417
Between 2014 and 2018, the number of tractor-trailer accidents in Texas increased by nearly 13 percent.
Truck Accidents in Texas: Rural vs. Urban
Crashes can, and do, happen everywhere.
Most Truck Accidents Are in Urban Areas: Truck accidents can happen on the roads of a congested city like Austin. In fact, more than half of all truck accidents in Texas occur in urban areas.
Most Fatal Truck Accidents Occur in Rural Settings: Only 44 percent of all truck accidents occur in rural parts of the state. However, rural areas account for 77 percent of the state’s fatal truck crashes.
You’re More Likely to Suffer a Severe Injury in a Rural Part of the State: Rural crashes tend to inflict more harm than those in urban areas. In 2018, 64 percent of suspected serious injury accidents were on roads in less densely populated parts of the state.
There are Hundreds of Fatal Truck Accidents in Texas Every Year
In 2014, there were 418 reported fatal truck accidents in Texas. By 2018, the number of collisions involving a truck-trailer or semi-trailer increased by more than 11 percent. Here’s a breakdown of truck accident crash data by year, as provided by the Texas Department of Transportation:
- 2014: 418 fatal truck accidents
- 2015: 432 fatal truck accidents
- 2016: 403 fatal truck accidents
- 2017: 433 fatal truck accidents
- 2018: 465 fatal truck accidents
Fatal truck accidents have been on the rise. Whether you look back 2 years or 15 years, you’ll see that the total number of fatal crashes involving trucks has increased.
Since 2016, the number of truck accident fatalities in Texas has increased by more than 15 percent. In the long term – between 2003 and 2018 – the number of truck accident fatalities has increased by about 21 percent.
What Should I Do If I Get Into a Truck Accident in Texas?
While truck drivers can get hurt, it’s usually other people on the road who suffer the brunt of the trauma in an accident. If you happen to find yourself in a collision with a large truck in Texas, it’s important to know what to do. Your decisions and actions can be critical for your health and legal rights.
- Get medical help. Get help right away. While truck accidents can cause obvious injuries, you might also suffer some under the skin, too. These injuries, if undiagnosed, can put your life at risk. Getting prompt medical care can keep you safe. Additionally, this simple step can help to create a causal link between your injuries and the crash, which will be a critical component of any legal claim you decide to file.
- Report the accident. Call the local police and make sure that your accident is formally documented by law enforcement. An officer will create a police report that details your crash and relevant information, including the names and contact information for all parties and witnesses, details about the traffic or weather conditions at the time of the accident, and even preliminary assumptions of fault. You’ll have a couple of years to file a lawsuit – a police report can be really helpful if you decide to pursue compensation.
- Gather evidence. Do whatever you can to document your accident and resulting injuries. Record video of the scene. Take photographs of the damage and your injuries. Talk to witnesses. Write down your recollections. The more evidence you can save, the more your attorney will have to work with as they navigate a claim on your behalf.
- Limit conversations. First – don’t accept responsibility for the collision. Limit your conversation and provide concise answers to any questions you’re asked. Truck drivers, employers, and insurance companies will go to great lengths to trip you up and use your words against you. The best course of action is to direct all communications to your lawyer.
Of course, it’s always best to contact a personal injury attorney who has experience handling truck accident cases like yours. Your lawyer can help you navigate a legal claim, gather evidence to support your demands for compensation, and, ultimately, put you in the best position to secure a substantial monetary award.