Bexar County leads region in truck fatalities
From 2009 to 2013, 68 people lost their lives in accidents involving large commercial trucks in Bexar County. This is far more than in any neighboring county.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 68 fatalities were recorded in Bexar County from 2009 to 2013 in large truck collisions. Of those deaths, 24 occurred in just one year-2012. Statewide during the same five years, between 318 and 573 truck accident deaths were recorded.
The death count in Bexar County is far higher than in its neighboring counties. Comal County experienced 16 truck deaths. In both Guadalupe and Atascosa Counties, 14 fatalities occurred. Nine lives were lost in Wilson County and another eight in Medina County.
News stories show the risk is real
While the NHTSA data is sobering in and of itself, a quick look at news sources confirms how real the seriousness of a truck accident is. YourStephensvilleTX.com reported on how a semi truck driver lost control of his vehicle on a wet roadway. Upon striking a tree, the man was thrown from his vehicle as he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. The driver died in the accident.
A semi travelling at an unsafe speed ran into the back of another semi truck in Culberson County. According to KVIA.com, a man in the sleeping compartment of one of the trucks died. Two more people died when two semi trucks collided along Interstate 20 per KLTV.com.
The fuel tank of a lumber-carrying semi truck exploded after the truck collided with a passenger vehicle notes Fox4News.com. An unborn baby and four others, including two children, all died in the fiery wreck.
Can this be stopped?
Preventing all trucking accidents may not be possible but reducing them should nonetheless be a goal. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration attempted to curb driver fatigue, one known cause in some crashes, with a new Hours of Service rule in 2013. This rule changed the guidelines for when truckers must take breaks.
Supply Chain Digest explains that some groups had concerns about the change. A congressional stay was issued and the FMCSA was instructed to pursue further research. JOC.com reports that the research is now being put into a report on the matter.
The Commercial Carrier Journal indicates that drug and alcohol use by drivers is also getting a fresh look by the government. A new process for hiring drivers will be instituted soon with a heavy focus on substance use and violations. Thorough reviews of records and updated substance tests will be part of the new hiring steps.
Is there more to do?
Motorists in Texas know how important safe driving practices are. Sadly, these are not enough to ensure safety at all times. If an accident happens, victims should be prepared to phone a lawyer for proper assistance.