Interstate 10 (I-10) is one of the main thoroughfares for the state of Texas, with many 18-wheelers passing through every day. Any interstate road is bound to have some accidents, but, unfortunately, Texas is the state with the most vehicle crashes in the country. In this article, we’ll go deeper into this topic so you can be prepared in case you or someone close to you is involved in an 18-wheeler accident on I-10.
18-Wheeler Accidents in Texas
The impact of 18-wheeler accidents in Texas is very significant. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released data showing that heavy trucks, including 18-wheelers and buses, were involved in a total of 6,710 accidents in the first four months of 2023 and 22,322 total accidents in 2022. This makes it the state with the most accidents of this type by far.
Plus, according to data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in 2021 alone, there were over 19,000 commercial motor vehicle crashes in Texas, resulting in 685 fatalities and 3,820 serious injuries. These statistics illustrate the severity of the issue and emphasize the necessity for stricter regulations, improved enforcement, and enhanced safety programs for both commercial drivers and other road users in the state of Texas.
Factors Contributing to 18-Wheeler Accidents on I-10
Several factors contribute to the alarming frequency of 18-wheeler accidents on I-10 in Texas. Consider them and take the necessary precautions when driving near trucks:
Inability to Stop Quickly: One of the primary causes of accidents involving 18-wheelers is their extended stopping distance. Due to their size and weight, these trucks require significantly more time and distance to come to a halt compared to passenger vehicles. Consequently, many accidents transpire because an 18-wheeler cannot stop as rapidly as the vehicles in front of it. This issue is exacerbated on high-speed highways like I-10, where sudden traffic slowdowns are common.
Highway Speeds: I-10 is primarily an interstate highway with higher speed limits. Many fatal truck accidents occur on highways or interstates where higher speeds are the norm. The combination of high speeds and the immense size and weight of 18-wheelers can lead to devastating accidents.
Driver Fatigue: Fatigue remains a significant factor in 18-wheeler accidents. A study conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that driver fatigue contributed to 31% of all fatal truck crashes. It’s essential for truck drivers to adhere to hours-of-service regulations to reduce fatigue and enhance safety.
Distracted Driving: Distracted driving, which includes activities like texting, eating, or using a phone while driving, is a common cause of truck crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving was a contributing factor in 8% of fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2019. Both commercial drivers and other motorists must avoid distractions to enhance safety on the road.
Safety Rule Violations: Violations of safety rules and regulations by truck drivers or their companies play a significant role in accidents. These violations can include driving over the allowed hours, failing to inspect vehicles for safety issues, or disregarding other safety-related rules. Such infractions can lead to severe accidents.
The Legal Implications of 18-Wheeler Accidents
If you are the victim of an 18-wheeler accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. But getting the right compensation can be a challenge if you don’t have the right guidance. An 18-wheeler accident lawsuit is often a complex legal process that involves the parties affected, the insurance companies, and sometimes even the court. To get an idea of the process you need to follow after an accident, read the steps below:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Obviously, making sure you and the other people in the accident are safe is the first thing you need to worry about. No matter the extent of the injuries, you need to contact an ambulance and the police.
Collect Evidence: For insurance and court purposes, get as much evidence of the accident as possible. This includes photographs, videos, driver information, witness statements, and more. This evidence can help make your case in the event that the insurance company rejects your claim.
Consult an Experienced Attorney: Getting compensation from an insurance company is not as straightforward and guaranteed as you might think. Insurance companies perform their own investigations of each accident and they can wrongfully determine that you are not eligible for compensation.
To know the best steps to take, a trusted truck accident lawyer can be a lifesaver.
Get Assisted by an Expert Law Firm
18-wheeler accidents on I-10 in Texas pose a significant threat to public safety. The size of these vehicles makes them especially dangerous on roads that are as fast as 1-10. As a resident of the state with the most accidents in the country, you need to be especially careful and have a lawyer on call for any case. For more information, contact Morris & Dewett to schedule a free consultation.
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Summary Report.
- Texas Department of Transportation.
- National Transportation Safety Board. Factors That Affect Fatigue In Heavy Truck Accidents Volume 2: Case Summaries.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted Driving in 2021.