Accidents involving commercial vehicles in Texas are dangerous, even deadly
Crashes involving personal vehicles and usually larger commercial vehicles as well as commercial vehicles and motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians tend to be particularly serious.
Many people drive for a living, sometimes under pressure to get the job done as fast as possible and under a deadline – factors that can lead to speeding and distraction. Unfortunately, commercial motor vehicles, called CMVs, tend to be larger and sometimes heavily loaded with freight, making them especially dangerous in a collision with a noncommercial car or other personal vehicle.
Commercial vehicles on the road in Texas include:
- Fuel transport trucks
- Delivery trucks
- Garbage and recycling trucks
- School, coach and commuter buses
- Transport vans
- Taxis and rideshares
- Tractor-trailers and semis
- Logging trucks
- Farm, ranch and other agricultural vehicles
- Utility trucks
- Wide-load transports and oversized loads
- Cement trucks
Factors that can contribute to accidents involving commercial trucks include:
- Unbalanced loading of freight
- Inadequate or negligent maintenance or repair
- Failure to replace tires and other vehicle equipment performing poorly from wear and tear
- Driving while fatigued or ill
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medications
- Driving while distracted by cell phones, eating, looking at screens or other things
- Inadequate driver screening, supervision or training
- Crumbling infrastructure
- Poor road design
- Inadequate road maintenance
- Failure to comply with traffic laws such as speed restrictions
- Failure to adjust driving for the weather
In our state, the Texas Department of Transportation reports that its Odessa District has the highest number of commercial vehicle fatal crashes, according to NewsWest9. Specifically, CMV crashes are up 160% in the last three years (before 2019) and CMV deaths up 122%. TxDOT attributes this to “unprecedented economic growth” and “lack of infrastructure.” It would be hard to deny that economic growth and activity is strong in many other areas of the state as well, which could further drive up the numbers of CMV accidents statewide.
In addition, the Houston Chronicle reported that in the Houston area, large trucks are breaking down roads because of the damage from loads transported over roadways not designed for such weight. The Chronicle also cited a prominent state legislator as saying the number of commercially trained state troopers on the roads in some areas of the state have declined and the lack of adequate patrolling contributes to more accidents in commercial areas.
Anyone hurt in an accident involving a commercial vehicle of any type in Texas should speak as soon as possible with a lawyer to understand the legal options for recovery. The attorney can launch an immediate investigation of the accident on behalf of the victim to gather important evidence while it is still fresh and available. In addition, legal counsel will assess all potentially responsible parties that could include the driver, the business owning the commercial vehicle and hiring the driver, engineers who designed the roadway, government bodies responsible for design and maintenance, companies that provided vehicle maintenance and repair, manufacturers of defective vehicles, and others.
The attorneys at Marynell Maloney Law Firm, PLLC, in San Antonio represents victims injured in accidents involving commercial vehicles in the region and across the state. The law firm also serves surviving loved ones of people who died in such incidents.