In southeast Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale energy boom has had unanticipated consequences. As oil and gas production have increased, so has commercial truck traffic and, as a result, trucking accidents have become more frequent. The Texas Department of Transportation has stated that the area’s number of trucking accidents has seen a significant increase over the last five years, with only four trucking accidents in 2008 and forty six in 2011.
In addition, the increased traffic has caused an increase in road deterioration, which can have a disastrous impact on highway safety for all vehicles.
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration statistics for 2010 indicate 3,675 fatalities in accidents that involved large commercial trucks. Two major issues involving large commercial trucks that play a part in the frequency and severity of trucking accidents compared to automobile accidents are their size and weight. Large truck drivers have limited visibility around their trucks, and their trucks require more room to turn and come to a complete stop. Furthermore, despite trucking regulations that attempt to prevent truck drivers from driving while drowsy, incidents of truckers falling asleep at the wheel are still common.
Though the increased truck traffic in Texas has been a result of increased oil and gas production, as the Christmas season approaches, many areas across the country are likely to see an increase in commercial trucking traffic that could result in trucking accidents. Therefore, as you are out and about this holiday season, please follow these tips to ensure your safety as you share the road with commercial trucks:
- Be alert! Watch big trucks and be alert for erratic movements or a truck that may come into your lane. A fatigued driver might swerve or even an alert driver might not see you because of the truck’s size.
- Use care at intersections. Even if you have the right of way, be careful and alert for trucks.
- Pay attention to truck loads. Unsteady loads may fall off a truck and land in your path, causing an accident.
While the attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe hope that you can stay safe on the roads, accidents do happen. In those unfortunate cases, we are committed to helping people who have sustained injuries in trucking accidents to get the financial compensation they need.