Highways are becoming increasingly dangerous, especially in Texas and Louisiana. With more than 1,000 people moving to Texas per day, it is no wonder accidents take place at an alarming rate. You may also have noticed an increase in the number of large trucks that are on Texas and Louisiana highways in recent years. Unfortunately, these vehicles are often involved in accidents, resulting in serious injuries and passenger vehicle fatalities. People traveling in passenger vehicles are not only vulnerable but far more susceptible to being involved in an accident. Large trucks weight 20-30 times more than passenger vehicles and are much taller with more ground clearance. One of the main reasons for truck accidents is their braking capability. Tractor-trailers carrying a heavy load take 20-40 percent longer than cars to stop. When traveling on busy highways, this is a recipe for disaster.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 4,000 people died in large truck accidents in 2016 alone. 66 percent of these fatalities were drivers and passengers of cars, 17 percent were truck occupants, and 16 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists. Since 2009, the number of fatalities as a result of large truck accidents increased by a shocking 27 percent. One of the main reasons for this is the high traffic volume on highways, especially in states such as Texas and Louisiana. Louisiana ranked fourth in large truck accidents, with seven accidents per 10 lane-miles. While Texas is not in the top 10, it is home to one of the worst highways (I-35) for trucking accidents. Louisiana sees 2.5 fatalities per 100 lane-miles, behind only Indiana (3.4) and Alabama (2.6). There are 68 injuries per 100 lane-miles in Louisiana, which is second only to New Jersey (85).
Common Causes of Truck Accidents in Louisiana and Texas
All top 10 states for truck accidents are east of the Mississippi, which should come as no surprise given the fact traffic is heaviest here. There are many factors that contribute to these high numbers, from congestion to driver distraction and weather. That being said, the following are the top contributors to large truck accidents in Louisiana and Texas:
- Driver fatigue
- Blind spots
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless driving
- Negligent driving
- Inclement weather
- Improper truck maintenance
- Failure to follow traffic rules
- Uneven cargo loading or shifting
- Excessive speed
- Improper braking
- Improperly maintained tires
The NHTSA estimates that 81 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks are multiple vehicle crashes. In comparison, 59 percent of all fatal passenger vehicle accidents involve multiple cars. Furthermore, one out of four fatal truck accidents take place on interstate highways. This is why it is so important to drive responsibly and pay attention to vehicles, especially large trucks. One of the best ways to avoid being involved in a large truck accident is to keep your distance on the highway, avoid braking at the last minute, and stay out of the truck’s blind spot. If you have been involved in an 18-wheeler accident in Louisiana or Texas, please contact Shamieh Law today and schedule an appointment. Our Lake Charles truck accident attorneys will go over your case and advise you on how to proceed.