Big Rig Accidents in Texas
Texas is one of the largest states in the country spanning almost 800 miles from north to south and encompassing an area of about 268,820 square miles. There were 258,122 billion miles traveled in TX in 2015. In 2015 a person died about every 2 hours and 27 minutes in a traffic crash. A reportable collision happens every minute. In 2015, the most recent report data available from the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 3,578 traffic fatalities, a number slightly higher than the 3,536 reported in 2014. This was an increase of 1.19%.
Fatal Truck Crashes
The total number of crashes in Texas in 2015 that involved commercial trucks was 34,420. Of those collisions, 512 were considered fatal with a total of 608 deaths. Most collisions happened in rural areas. It is important to note that Texas did not have any deathless traffic days in 2015. Most accidents happened in May and weekends saw the most fatalities.
Distracted driving accidents went down 0.2% in 2015 from 2014 with a total of 481 lives lost due to distractions. Distracted driving typically includes cell phone use, texting, eating and talking with passengers or any other activities that take the driver’s eyes or mind off the road.
Contributing factors are things that drivers or police reported as having caused or contributed to a crash. An accident may have more than one contributing factor. Of fatal collisions that occurred in rural areas, the most commonly reported factors include:
- Traveling at an unsafe speed
- Distracted driving
- Failure to stay in lane
- Failure to yield
- Driving on the wrong side
- Disregard of traffic signal
Speed played a part in 661 deadly collisions and 29,523 total crashes. This includes driving too fast for road conditions, traveling above the posted speed limit and driving at unsafe speeds. Additionally, big rig drivers could be driving while drowsy, which impairs their ability to properly respond to traffic conditions. Other factors may also contribute to accidents.
Weather conditions may cause some accidents; however, the majority of fatal crashes occurred during clear or cloudy conditions. Rain, snow, sleet, fog, and crosswinds were other noted conditions in fatal accidents. Wet roads were to blame for 234 fatal crashes in 2015. 796 deadly accidents happened in daylight while more than 830 occurred at dawn, dusk or night. Of those, 704 were in unlit areas.