Despite falling traffic fatality rates across the U.S., the death rate for motorists on the streets and highways of Texas continues to rise. This trend is especially evident in the southeast portion of the state where recent high-profile accidents claimed the lives of a number of drivers and passengers. Many of the worst car crashes involved large commercial vehicles, including 18-wheelers and large cargo trucks. For those injured in these catastrophic accidents, working with a qualified Texas 18-wheeler accident attorney can often provide support during the recovery process and can ensure adequate compensation for medical bills and other costs incurred as a result of the crash. Looking for Answers According to statistics available from the U.S. Department of Transportation, deaths resulting from auto accidents in Texas have increased by eight percent between 2009 and 2013. Fatality accidents involving 18-wheelers, however, increased by more than 50 percent during the same period, rising from 352 deaths in 2009 to 532 accident deaths in the 2013 calendar year. Transportation experts and public officials have attributed this rise in traffic fatalities to a number of factors, including the following:
- Increased 18-wheeler traffic on Texas highways as a result of the current oil industry boom conditions
- Failure to maintain these large trucks properly
- Poorly trained or unqualified drivers
- Driver fatigue or error
In some cases, the weight and bulk of semi-trailer trucks can create forward momentum too powerful to be stopped in time to avoid a crash. The forces involved in these collisions can be extreme and can result in debilitating injuries or death for passengers and drivers of smaller vehicles struck by 18-wheelers and cargo trucks even at moderate speeds. Holding Trucking Companies Accountable Many transportation firms fail to maintain acceptable safety standards when prepping trucks and assigning drivers for their routes. Increased demand for trucking services due to the current boom conditions in the Texas oil industry has led some unqualified companies to enter the transportation marketplace. In April 2014, Vilma Marenco lost her life when an 18-wheeler truck driver ran a red light and struck her vehicle. Investigators subsequently determined that the company that employed the driver was not licensed to provide services in the state of Texas, had received numerous tickets for defective and unsafe equipment and had failed an audit by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Marenco’s family has retained the services of a Beaumont truck accident lawyer to pursue legal action against the company and to hold it accountable for its gross negligence in failing to maintain its vehicles to an acceptable standard of safety. Money-Saving Tactics Cost Lives Lack of training is another major contributing factor for many trucking accidents. In many cases, companies cut corners in both training drivers and in maintaining their vehicles in response to high demand for their services and the expense and downtime involved in these vital activities. By cutting corners in this way, unscrupulous trucking companies can realize short-term savings at the expense of lost lives and damage to people and property on Texas roadways. For those victimized by the willful negligence of transportation companies and 18-wheeler drivers, seeking the help of professional Texas truck accident lawyers can allow some measure of compensation and closure after these devastating accidents. Working with a legal firm that specializes in representing victims of 18-wheeler accidents can provide individuals and their families with the help needed to achieve fair compensation for their injuries and losses. An experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney can help to even the playing field to hold even large transportation firms responsible for their negligence both in and out of the courtroom setting. By retaining the services of these legal professionals, accident victims can obtain fair compensation for their losses and can help to ensure safer roads throughout the state of Texas.