Automobile accidents can be fairly serious at the best of times, and when they involve large trucks like semis, it gets all the more dangerous. There are different ways that a truck accident can occur, some being worse than others. One question a lot of people have, however, is exactly where truck accidents are more likely to happen in Texas, which we will examine here today.
The most common places for truck accidents to happen in Texas
In order to avoid being involved in an accident with a large truck, the best advice we can give is to be aware of your surroundings. Granted, this is always going to be good advice, but it is even more valuable when you have such a large truck driving on the road near you. If you are not conscious of it, a truck can do a considerable amount of harm with relative ease. It should be noted that a truck accident is not necessarily going to be the responsibility of the person behind the wheel of said truck; while a smaller vehicle is not going to cause the same amount of damage, a poor decision by someone in a car, for example, can easily cause the driver of the truck to get in an accident, either because they collided with you, they swerved to avoid you and got into an accident, or your action caused the truck to roll over. Texas is particularly notable for traffic accidents on highways from vehicles of all shapes and sizes, due to the fact that Texas has the most miles of highways of any state, coming in at 675,580 miles of pavement.
As far as places go, Interstates 10 and 20 in Texas are among the worst in the entire country, let alone Texas, for fatality rates. These two roads showed a total of 1,270 deaths from 2010 to 2016 (676 and 594 deaths respectively). They are the most dangerous roads in their respective counties (Harris County and Dallis County). However, while it has a high number of fatalities, this does not mean that they are the most dangerous, necessarily. The main reason why these roads show such high fatality rates is because they are among the most traveled roads, and inevitably, since more people are traveling on them, the odds of an injury occurring is going to be more likely as well.
Indeed, one of the most dangerous areas in Texas is on Odessa in Western Texas. While the fatality rate is lower than I-10 or I-20 — only 100 deaths from 2013 to 2015 — Odessa is not nearly as traversed, nor is it in a densely populated area, so the number of fatalities stands out as rather exceptional. The reason for this is that Odessa has a high rate of distracted driving, as well as people driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. It is speculated that the reason for these issues is that Odessa attracts young people to seek oil jobs, resulting in relatively inexperienced drivers getting behind the wheel of large trucks. In general, rural areas confer a surprisingly high risk of truck accidents, though urban areas also deal with this kind of risk.
There are other factors that also cause things to become more or less dangerous, even in the above-mentioned areas. For example, as one would expect, night driving confers an increased risk. This is due to multiple factors, including lower visibility and, for many drivers, simply not having had enough rest to safely be driving. Curiously, certain days of the week have higher risks of collisions and near-collisions. For instance, Texas drivers face a higher risk of collision of any day of the week, while Fridays have the highest number of near-collisions and driver distraction rates, perhaps due to people being in a hurry to get home for the weekend and not taking care while behind the wheel. Thursdays meanwhile had the overall highest number of traffic violations, while Tuesday saw the highest rates of driving while drowsy. What’s interesting is that it is speculated that these higher rates of drowsy driving may be due to Monday Night Football, and data shows that drivers who watch it tend to drink more and stay up later than usual, leading to an increased level of drowsiness.
Of course, just because truck accidents are more likely to happen on certain days, at certain times, and in certain places, this does not mean that you should just assume that things are safe at places where and times when the risk is lower. Indeed, you must stay diligent, both for the safety of you and the others in your vehicle, as well as those in other vehicles. A truck accident can get pretty severe, pretty quickly, and honestly, there may be relatively few things you can do to avoid serious damage to your vehicle or injury to yourself, depending on the circumstances. If you have found yourself in a truck accident, either as a victim of another driver’s negligence, or as someone accused of negligence yourself, the best option is to get in contact with an attorney who can represent you in this situation. Such a lawyer will diligently represent your interests through a series of investigating the circumstances of the incident, collecting witness statements and evidence, and ensure that you get the best outcome out of the trial with as little fuss for you as possible. A lawyer such as Houston truck accident lawyer Terry Bryant will do all this and more to make sure that this incident causes you as little grief in the future as possible, whether you have medical debt to worry about from the incident or what.