More than 5,200 people died in accidents involving large trucks in the U.S. last year, 502 in Texas.
According to The Dallas Morning News, more than 5,200 people died in accidents involving large trucks in the U.S. last year, 502 in Texas. The state consistently leads the nation in fatalities, in part because it has more roadway miles and the second-highest number of registered trucks.
The state’s fatality rate, measured in truck crash deaths per 100,000 people, was 24th nationwide. California, the only state whose volume of truck traffic exceeds Texas, ranked No. 38. Another 10,000 people, on average, are injured in Texas each year in crashes involving big trucks.
Responsibility for these accidents is hotly contested; investigators typically don’t assess blame. Even the department’s database refers only to “contributing factors” not “cause.”
The most comprehensive national study, released last March by the U.S. Department of Transportation, found that truck drivers were at fault in at least 44 percent of all accidents between cars and big trucks. The American Trucking Associations, which represents the industry’s biggest companies, says trucks cause only about 25 percent of fatal accidents involving cars.
When trucking companies are to blame, records show, it’s because truckers drive too fast, don’t pay attention, work too many hours or take to the road in poorly maintained equipment – sometimes with the knowledge and encouragement of their employers.