Commuting in the city of Houston on a regular basis, you are probably familiar with the stress that can go along with sharing the road with commercial trucks and other large vehicles. In fact, you may be all too familiar with the dangers associated with driving alongside the growing number of commercial vehicles found on Texas roadways every day. And while characteristics like the size and weight of many commercial vehicles are directly related to the severity of injury accidents across the state, other factors also play a role in a serious accident rates.
The Houston Chronicle reported on serious and fatal commercial vehicle accident rates in one particular region of the state, and found that a number of conditions contributed to accident incidents. According to recent statistics, fatal auto collisions were on the rise in South Texas. In 2011, there were 177 accident fatalities in the Eagle Ford Shale region. That number increased to 248 fatalities the following year. The dramatic rise in incidents was largely attributed to the increase in oil production and distribution.
Considering the role that commercial vehicles and the oil industry play in serious and fatal car accidents in Texas, it is believed that the growing number of large vehicles is having a major impact on infrastructure traffic. The number of collisions involving commercial vehicles in several specific counties is estimated to have increased by an incredible 1, 000 percent in recent years, and many of those incidents occurred on rural roadways. The fact that vehicles that weigh 80,000 pounds or more routinely travel on roads only intended to accommodate only around 200 passenger vehicles a day is also contributing to road wear and tear and traffic in the region. Interestingly, however, the vast majority of fatal accidents involving commercial vehicles are actually believed to be caused by passenger cars.