Recent data highlights a troubling number of fatal Texas truck crashes
With increased truck safety regulations intended to keep fatigued and overworked drivers off the roads and more sophisticated technology included in these massive vehicles, it may seem like crash rates involving commercial trucks should be headed downward. That would be good news for all motorists, since in car vs. truck crashes, those in the smaller vehicle generally fare worse, oftentimes with catastrophic or fatal outcomes.
Based on the data for the last couple of years for which it’s available, it seems as though fatal crashes involving trucks and other commercial vehicles are still concerningly high. Many, as you’ll see, involve high rates of speed.
2020 vs. 2021 numbers
In 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), Texas experienced 643 fatalities involving truck crashes. Of those:
- More than half (342) were the drivers of another vehicle.
- Another 108 were passengers in another vehicle.
- Over 60 were pedestrians or cyclists.
- Over 100 were drivers or occupants of large trucks.
Not surprisingly, nearly half of the fatalities involved speeds of 65 miles per hour and above (nearly 300). There were also several wherein the speed wasn’t known or reported, so the number is likely over 300.
While the public does not yet have access to precisely the same set of statistics for 2021, the Texas Department of Transportation has reported that 705 people died that year in a total of 630 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes, so that figure could include commercial vans and buses as well. In a breakdown by county, Montgomery County experienced 17 fatalities in crashes. Nearby Harris County (which, of course, includes Houston) experienced 44 fatalities in 43 crashes.
Crashes involving trucks can be particularly devastating for those in other types of vehicles. As noted, and as is the case in the 2020 data, those who perished in these crashes were traveling more often in other vehicles, by bike or on foot rather than in the truck.
Seeking compensation to cover medical costs and other expenses and damages after a truck crash can be complicated. Drivers, trucking companies and other parties are quick to pass the buck when it comes to who bears responsibility. If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a crash caused by a truck or other commercial vehicle, having experienced legal guidance can help you seek justice and compensation for yourself or on behalf of loved ones who may have died as a result of their injuries.