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Houston roads are well traveled by many commercial trucks each year. Houston is the most heavily populated city in the state of Texas, and the fifth-most populous metropolitan city in the entire United States. The city’s economy is largely based on multiple industries including energy, transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, and the oil sector. Houston is also stated to be the top U.S. market for exports, leading over even New York City, which the area surpassed in 2013.
With so much industry development in Houston, it is no wonder that so many commercial trucks travel to and from the city every year. Houston has over 739 miles of freeways and expressways covering a ten county area. Heavy traffic in the city has led to it also being dubbed as having the fourth worst congestion in the U.S. by a past Urban Mobility Report.
A significant number of commercial truck accidents in Houston are among the major challenges that come with the territory of being such an industrialized city. According to statistics hundreds of fatalities and even more injuries occur as a result of big rig accidents each year, inclusive of those which occur in Houston.
There are several causes of big rig truck accidents in Houston. These include but are not limited to:
– A failure on the part of truck drivers and companies to follow rules outlined by the Texas Department of Transportation
- Truck driver fatigue from driving excessive hours without sufficient rest
- Poorly maintained equipment and uninspected vehicles
- Truck drivers driving at excessive speeds
- Big rig tire blowouts
With regards to the last two items on the list, these issues were discussed in a recent report by the Associated Press that noted many tractor-trailers are traveling the nation’s highways on tires that are not equipped to handle the posted speed limits. In some states, speed limits go up to 85 miles per hour; however, tires on commercial trucks can only handle speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. Driving in excess of what tires are equipped to handle can lead to unexpected blowouts.
This is a factor that affects commercial truck drivers throughout the U.S. However, in cities like Houston, where commercial vehicle traffic is excessive, there are typically higher rates of related crashes than in areas where truck drivers are encouraged to drive at lower speeds.
The AP report noted that the number of tire related crash deaths in 2013 (the latest year information was available) rose significantly from the previous year. This may be indicative of the speed limit changes that have been made in multiple states over the past few years. Legislators and transportation safety advocates are now in the process of devising ways to help improve the safety of drivers in light of the information revealed from studies conducted on commercial truck safety.
The Houston big rig accident attorneys of Eberstein & Witherite advocate for the safety of everyone traveling the city’s roads, but invest a considerable amount of time helping those who have been injured as a result of the negligence of truck drivers whose actions such as speeding led to their being hurt.
Truck drivers carry heavy loads, literally, with commercial trucks weighing up to 80,000 tons. Drivers charged with such a challenging task cannot afford to be negligent, and when one does something like driving at an excessive speed, they risk not only their own lives, but the lives of so many others.
Individuals who have been involved in a truck accident in Houston linked to speeding, tire blowouts, or other issues can contact the Eberstein & Witherite law firm to request help with a claim for damages at any time. The law firm services the needs of injured semi truck accident victims in Houston and surrounding areas including The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Beaumont, Pasadena, Galveston, Texas City, and Pearland.
Eberstein Witherite LLP
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