Interstate 20 (I-20) is a very popular road connecting the state of Texas with the southeast United States. Stretching across 635 miles, I-20 extends from the Texas-Louisiana border near Waskom to its intersection with I-10 in Reeves County, east of Kent. Due to its convenience, this road is the place of many accidents every year. In this article, we’ll take a look at statistics concerning 18-wheeler accidents on I-20, the main causes, and more.
Statistics About I-20
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), I-20 was identified as the second-deadliest highway in the United States, with 13.52 fatal crashes per 100 miles on I-20 in 2019, accounting for 208 fatalities spread across six states.
The Causes Behind the High Number of Accidents on I-20
Several factors contribute to the alarming number of accidents on this highway:
High Speeds and Traffic Density: One of the primary reasons behind the frequent 18-wheeler accidents on I-20 is the combination of high speeds and dense traffic, especially in metropolitan areas. I-20 traverses several major metropolitan regions in Texas, including the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, Longview-Tyler, Abilene, and Odessa-Midland. The convergence of high-speed traffic in these areas amplifies the risk of accidents. 18-wheelers are especially vulnerable to accidents in these areas because their size and weight make them less able to perform defensive maneuvers or stop in time.
Speeding: On I-20, speeding continues to be a major cause of accidents. Speed limits of up to 75 mph are allowed on some stretches of the highway in east Texas, and between Monahans and I-10 in west Texas, they are 80 mph. Nearly one-third of all car accidents are caused by drivers losing control of their vehicles because of speeding. In heavy traffic or bad weather, 18-wheeler drivers frequently fail to moderate their speed, which leads to crashes. Higher speeds enhance the impact of a truck crash.
Distracted Driving: On I-20, truck accidents are frequently caused by distracted driving. A serious risk arises from any activity that takes a driver’s focus off the road, such as using a cell phone, adjusting the radio, eating, or engaging with passengers or animals.
Drunk Driving: Drunk driving is another leading cause of car accidents in general. Whether the truck driver or the driver of the other car was intoxicated, drunk-driving-related accidents that involved 18-wheelers can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
Drowsy Driving: Drowsy driving is similar to drunk driving in its potential to cause accidents. Drivers who are tired show signs of impairment comparable to those of drunk drivers. Reaction times slow and coordination and cognitive abilities deteriorate as tiredness develops. Drowsy driving can cause very serious accidents, and truck drivers are the most at risk for this due to their long hours of driving. Make sure you are always taking precautions when driving next to 18-wheelers for this reason.
Bad Weather: On I-20, the erratic Texas weather poses a serious risk for truck drivers since changes can happen quickly. When faced with slippery roads or decreased visibility brought on by precipitation such as snow, ice, fog, and dust storms, drivers are supposed to slow down. Unfortunately, given the size of 18-wheelers, bad climate conditions can make these vehicles extremely difficult to control even when precautions are taken.
Damages in a Car Accident on I-20
If you were part of an 18-wheeler accident on this road, you might be entitled to compensation for your damages. But first, you need to demonstrate some kind of negligence or recklessness from the other party involved by proving:
- The driver owed a duty of safety.
- The duty was breached.
- The breach caused the accident and resulting injuries.
- Monetary losses were incurred as a result.
Consulting an experienced Texas 18-wheeler accident attorney is essential for investigating the accident’s circumstances, calculating losses, and pursuing compensation. Depending on the case’s specifics, you may be eligible for compensation that covers medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, impairment, disfigurement, and even punitive damages, if applicable.
Get Help From An Experienced Lawyer
Interstate 20 is an important road for Texas, but it’s also the most dangerous, with many 18-wheeler accidents happening every year. If this is a common road in your travel, then having an experienced law firm like Morris & Dewett by your side is a great asset. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and talk about your case.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA File Downloads.