One driver is dead and their passenger is suffering major injuries following a collision with a 18-wheeler truck on State Highway 36 in Bell County. The collision occurred after the passenger vehicle drove into the path of the truck at an intersection.
About the Truck Accident
Texas authorities report that they responded to a truck accident on Highway 36 at around 1:25 p.m. on December 7 that resulted in one fatality. The collision occurred near the intersection of Highway 36 and Leona Park Road on the east side of the Lake Belton bridge.
The 20-year-old driver and his 22-year-old passenger were traveling in a 2001 Accura CLS sedan when they failed to yield the right-of-way to a northbound semi-truck. The truck involved was a 2004 Peterbilt truck-tractor semi-trailer.
Sources report that the truck, which was carrying 80,000 pounds of corn at the time, cut the vehicle in half in the crash after striking the driver’s side. The Accura driver died on the scene of the accident, and his passenger was transported to a nearby hospital with incapacitating injuries, according to authorities.
There is no report of the truck driver being injured in the collision, and an investigation into the incident is still underway.
How Deadly Are Truck Accidents in Texas?
Relative to other types of crashes, truck accidents can be particularly deadly. According to data gathered by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), there were over 26,000 crashes in the state involving truck-tractors or semi-trucks in 2019 alone. In fact, 452 of those crashes, roughly 17%, involved at least one fatality.
In comparison, less than 1% of passenger car crashes in Texas in 2019 involved a fatality. Even motorcycle crashes, which are widely and correctly viewed as incredibly dangerous, only saw a fatality rate of 5%.
Unfortunately, this issue doesn’t seem to be getting any better. While truck accidents and their fatality rate went down between 2018 and 2019, the number of truck accidents happening in Texas every year has been relatively stagnant or on the rise since 2010. In fact, since 2010, truck accidents have increased by nearly 70% in Texas.
In that same time, the rate of crashes that result in at least one fatality has decreased by only about 2%. This means that improved car safety has done relatively little to make victims of truck accidents measurably more safe.
Truck accidents tend to be more deadly for a variety of reasons, but the primary cause is arguably the trucks’ size and weight. Heavy trucks are harder to control and more likely to slide. Add to that issue increased online shopping and a reduced workforce, and you’re likely to see even more crashes.
This is particularly concerning when you take into account the fact that truck accident fatalities have been on the rise nationally for years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The overall heft of most semi-trucks also contributes to who is most likely to be killed in these crashes. According to Injury Facts, occupants of non-trucks account for over 70% of the fatalities in truck accidents. This makes it especially important for drivers to slow down, stay alert, and leave plenty of room when driving near semi-trucks.
Truck accidents leave victims with mounting debt during a time reserved for recovery. Rest assured that the Houston truck accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns can help you process your claim.