Texas Has More Truck Accidents Than Any Other State in the U.S.November 10, 2020
Texas Has Led the Nation in Truck Wrecks for More than a Decade, FMCSA Data Shows
Since at least 2008, more truck accidents have happened on Texas roads than in any other state in the U.S. That’s according to the latest reports from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which also shows that on an average day in Texas:
- There are at least 60 truck accidents.
- At least two people have been killed (since 2016).
Here’s a closer look at why Texas has the most truck accidents in the U.S, along with other states that lead the nation in 18-wheeler wrecks.
Why Does Texas Have So Many Truck Wrecks?
A combination of industry factors, transportation infrastructure, and more has made Texas a leader in truck accidents year after year.
Oil & Gas Industry
Texas, the largest oil-producing state in the U.S., is home to most oil field trucking jobs. That sector of the trucking industry in Texas has been deemed to be one of the most dangerous jobs. Oil field trucking is also the single most dangerous job on an oil field. This is largely due to:
- Industry exemptions: Hours of service (HOS) rules come with certain exemptions for oil field truckers. This includes an exemption for the “24-hour restart” regulation, which can contribute to the issue of drivers fatigue.
- Long shifts: Oil field truckers can work shifts as long as 12 to 14 hours, with very little downtime in between. This can exacerbate the issue of trucker fatigue, which has been found to be as dangerous as drunk driving.
- The trucker shortage: For at least two decades, there has been a serious shortage of commercial truckers in the U.S. From retiring Boomers to a surge in demand for freight, the trucker shortage has been growing since the 1980s. And it’s led to more inexperienced drivers being on the roads.
Texas ranks 17th for having the poorest road conditions in the U.S., according to a recent study. In fact, that research reported that:
- More than 1 in 10 Texas roads are in poor condition: This includes roads riddled with potholes, lacking proper traffic signage, and/or constantly plagued with congestion. In some cases, like the infamous “Death Highway” in Texas, the roads simply weren’t built to handle the heavy traffic they are now getting. And that traffic is causing even more damage and, at times, serious wrecks.
- Only about 1 in 5 Texas roads is in good condition: To put that in perspective, other states have 2 in every 3 roads in “good” condition.
- On average, Texas spends about $45,000 per mile of road: These expenditures include the costs of new construction, highway expansions, and roadway repairs. States with better road conditions tend to spend double or triple on their transportation infrastructure.
Texas is one of the most populous states in the nation. The sheer volume of people in the state means that more drivers are on the roads at any given time. It also creates a greater need for trucks to be operating within the state, delivering the goods and materials Texans need.
Top 10 States with Most Truck Accidents
While Texas leads the nation in 18-wheeler accidents, several other states also see a high rate of trucking wrecks. In fact, after Texas, other states to lead the nation in semi accidents include:
7. North Carolina
Hurt in a Truck Wreck?
No matter where a truck wreck happens in the U.S., victims can get answers about their rights and legal options by consulting with an experienced lawyer.
The aftermath of an accident can be painful and disorienting. With an attorney in your corner, you can be confident your rights are protected as you pursue recovery.