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San Antonio Truck Accident Statistics

by | Apr 30, 2022 | Truck Accidents | 0 comments

Sadly, the Lone Star State is among the deadliest states for large truck and bus crashes. In one recent year, 652 people lost their lives in large truck or bus crashes. Still, another 7,399 people sustained injuries in these same accidents. Altogether, 12,523 crashes in Texas involved a large truck or bus.

Texas accounted for over 13 percent of the large truck accidents on all U.S. roadways and 12.6 percent of all accidents in the state.

Just over 5,000 people died due to fatal injuries they sustained in truck accidents nationally.

Of them:

  • 71 percent or 3,544 were occupants of other vehicles
  • 18 percent or 892 were occupants of large trucks
  • 11 percent or 569 were non-occupants (pedestrians, pedal cyclists, etc.)

Furthermore, over two recent years, there was a 17-percent jump in injured large-truck occupants in large-truck crashes and a 19-percent jump in the number of non-occupants injured.

Truck Accidents in and Around San Antonio

Located in southern Texas, San Antonio also sees its fair share of commercial truck accidents.

After all, it has several major roadways, including:

  • Interstate 10: McDermott Freeway (Northwest) running west toward El Paso, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Jose Lopez Freeway (East) runs east toward Seguin, Houston, New Orleans, and Jacksonville.
  • Interstate 35: Also known as the Pan Am Expressway (Northeast/Southwest), which runs south toward its southernmost portion in Laredo and north toward Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, Wichita, Kansas, Kansas City, Des Moines, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and finally ending in Duluth, MN.
  • Interstate 37: Also named the Lucian Adams Freeway (Southeast), it runs from San Antonio to a junction with Highway 281 south (Edinburg and McAllen) near Three Rivers and into Corpus Christi, meeting with Interstate 69E/Highway 77 south (Kingsville, Harlingen, and Brownsville) to its southern end at Corpus Christi Bay.
  • Interstate 410: Sometimes referred to as the Connally Loop or “Loop 410” by locals, it’s a 53-mile inner beltway around San Antonio.
  • U.S. 90: The Cleto Rodriguez Freeway (West) runs through Uvalde and Del Rio to its west ending at I-10 in Van Horn. Before the I-10 East and U.S. 90, workers built West expressways. This highway traveled through the west side via West Commerce Street (westbound) and Buena Vista Street (eastbound), and the Historic Old Highway 90 (called the Enrique M. Barrera Parkway). On its eastern side, it ran along East Commerce Street to its current alignment concurrent with I-10 East to Seguin.
  • U.S. 281: Known as McAllister Freeway, it runs north to Johnson City and Wichita Falls. To the south, it runs concurrent with I-37, then I-410 for 4 miles, heading south to Pleasanton. Before I-37 and McAllister Freeway completed construction, U.S. 281 ran through the north side via San Pedro Avenue and the south side via Roosevelt Avenue.
  • State Highway 151: Sometimes called the Stotzer Freeway, it extends from U.S. Highway 90 West through Westover Hills, including SeaWorld, to its western end located at State Loop 1604.
  • State Loop 1604: Known commonly as the Charles W. Anderson Loop or simply called “1604” by locals, this loop is the 96-mile outer beltway around San Antonio.

Commercial trucks use these highways and others to travel in and around San Antonio. While it’s convenient and saves time, their presence on these roads can create extreme hazards for those they share the road with. Suppose you or a loved one were involved in a semi-truck accident on one of these roads or others in Texas. In that case, you deserve compensation for your damages. The best way to seek that compensation and ensure you receive what is fair is to secure representation from an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident.

San Antonio Truck Accident Statistics

The government collected the following truck accident statistics for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Involved Crashes and Injuries in Bexar County (which includes the San Antonio):

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Fatal Crashes 17 11 22 8 13 12
Fatalities 17 12 26 8 14 12
Suspected Serious Crashes 51 44 42 59 27 42
Suspected Serious Injuries 62 55 49 69 37 52
Non-Incapacitating Crashes 138 151 144 193 153 163
Non-Incapacitating Injuries 203 203 193 269 203 238
Possible Injury Crashes 346 405 366 396 422 425
Possible Injuries 547 628 590 650 676 674
Non-Injury Crashes 1,765 1,769 1,901 1,973 1,773 2,036
Non-Injuries 6,368 6,274 6,668 7,116 6,223 7,054
Unknown Severity Crashes 15 31 43 31 32 39
Unknown Injuries 317 340 401 367 409 421
Total Crashes 2,332 2,411 2,518 2,660 2,420 2,717

Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents in Texas

While fatalities have dropped by a few, the total number of accidents and injuries has increased since 2010. Considering the recent advances in safety technology and crash avoidance, these are disappointing figures at best. Truck drivers and the trucking industry need to do more to ensure the safety of everyone on San Antonio’s roadways.

Several factors cause Semi-truck accidents in Texas. At the root of many causes is driver or trucking carrier negligence. Truckers and the companies they work for must obey traffic laws, local laws, and laws and regulations the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces. When they don’t, they put everyone on the road at risk.

#1. Distracted Driving

Any action that takes attention away from driving, however slight, is a distraction.

Distractions might include:

  • Using a smartphone
  • Adjusting the sound system
  • Programming a GPS
  • Consuming food and beverages
  • Personal hygiene
  • Talking to passengers
  • Attending to pets in the cab

Many of these actions aren’t strictly illegal, but federal law prohibits commercial truckers from using cell phones behind the wheel. Truck drivers may push one button to begin or end a call, but they must use a hands-free feature to talk. Truck drivers who text while driving not only violate federal law but Texas state laws.

#2. Driving While Impaired

Of all drivers, truckers stand to cause the most damage if they drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Keep in mind that even over-the-counter and prescription medications can inhibit good driving behaviors and common sense.

Unfortunately, studies reveal that alcohol and drug use among truck drivers is common due to long workdays and stressful work conditions. For example, the FMCSA estimates that as many as 13 percent of truck drivers involved in deadly accidents had drugs in their system at the time of the crash. Of those, over 20 percent have a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08, and the legal limit for semi-truck drivers is 0.04.

Alcohol and drugs impair a driver’s ability to react to dangers or sudden changes in driving conditions and their judgment of time and distance. As such, severe or fatal accidents often result.

#3. Speeding

While speeding doesn’t always lead to an accident, it remains the most frequent factor associated with fatal semi-truck crashes. Depending on the weight of their load, semi-trucks are between 20 and 30 times heavier than the average vehicle. When truck drivers go too fast, especially in inclement weather, they will experience difficulty stopping or making other driving adjustments for dangers on the roadway.

#4. Failure to Yield

Suppose a commercial truck driver fails to yield the right of way to another vehicle. In that case, they cannot stop quickly if they notice another motor vehicle coming. Sometimes they might not see the other vehicle at all or until it’s too late.

Failure to yield is often related to distracted driving. It’s also a result of truckers who are highly focused on their tight deadlines and getting to where they need to be on time rather than paying attention to the roadway.

#5. Failure to Obey Traffic Signals

This is a traffic violation and is also usually linked to distracted driving. Most drivers, truck drivers or otherwise, don’t intentionally disregard traffic signals and stop signs. Still, if they are distracted or focused on something other than driving, it’s common not to see a signal or stop sign.

When cars collide with a semi-truck that has run a traffic light or stop sign, they are at risk for an under-ride crash which happens when their vehicle becomes stuck under the commercial truck. These types of accidents usually result in catastrophic injuries and often prove deadly.

#6. Tailgating

Tailgating is common as big rig drivers are in a hurry to get to their next destination. The sooner they deliver or pick up their next load, the more money they can make and the less pressure they face from others in the industry. Driving safely behind another vehicle means leaving a two or three-second gap for most vehicles. However, the extreme mass of an 18-wheeler truck demands extra space to slow down- even more so at higher speeds.

In fact, the FMCSA recommends that semi-truck drivers leave a minimum four to five-second gap depending on how fast they are driving. If they are driving through rain and snow, they should leave at least eight seconds between their vehicle and the car in front of them. When a truck driver follows too closely, they risk serious accidents that might include totaling the car in front of them and killing one or more innocent individuals.

#7. Drowsy/Fatigued Driving

Unfortunately, the truck driving industry has pressure to deliver loads and complete work quickly. With the recent shortage of truckers, the pressure is being placed on drivers even more than before. Not only do they sometimes speed or make other dangerous critical driving errors, but they also skip their mandatory rest/sleeping breaks.

FMCSA requires truck drivers to have so many hours of rest before beginning a shift and restricts the number of hours they can drive before taking a mandatory break. Those breaks also must be a specific amount of time.

However, truck drivers lose time on the road when they follow these regulations, and it takes longer to make their deliveries. As such, many ignore the rules altogether or only obey parts of them. Many truck drivers get behind the wheel without adequate rest and sleep. Recent studies show that for all drivers, driving while drowsy or fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.

#8. Lack of Inspections or Maintenance

Some truck drivers and truck carriers skip out on performing the mandated routine inspections and maintenance on their rigs as another way to cut corners and save time or money. This is hazardous, with as many miles as they travel and the heavy loads they carry.

Semi-trucks experience extreme wear and tear and need frequent maintenance and parts replaced to be safe on the road. Brakes, tires, steering, and other vital aspects of these rigs can give out at the worst possible times, resulting in deadly accidents. Even what might seem like a simple tire blowout can cause another vehicle to crash and its driver to suffer injuries.

How an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Can Help?

Commercial truck accidents can cause severe, catastrophic, or even fatal injuries. Victims need an experienced truck accident attorney on their side to help them recover the financial compensation they deserve.

A truck accident attorney knows how to obtain the safety, maintenance, and rest break records for truck drivers and truck carriers to help prove cases against them. They also know how to thoroughly investigate these accidents so that the proper parties are held liable for your damages. The sooner you reach out for legal help after an accident with a big rig, the better off you will be.