Bus and truck accidents are a public health risk to all Houston road users. Drivers, passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists can all be seriously injured in an accident caused by a bus or truck driver.
It is therefore important to hold these drivers and their employers responsible for injuries caused by negligent driving. This deters negligence and promotes safety on the roads of greater Houston.
The Facts About Bus and Truck Crashes
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Texas is among 10 states with the highest average of fatal large truck and bus crashes between 2014 and 2016. Together, these ten states account for 50 percent of all United States road fatalities involving a large truck or bus. The year 2016 saw increases in both the number of fatal accidents involving a large bus or truck and the number of victims who were killed in these accidents.
Surprisingly, nearly 40 percent of all large truck occupants killed in 2016 were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident. Here in Texas, the statistics are just as alarming. A technical memorandum prepared for the Texas Department of Transportation by experts at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute compared crash data in California and Texas.
The researchers noted that, since 2007, Texas has surpassed California in the number of traffic fatalities, and the difference between the two states is only growing larger. Because California has a larger population than Texas, Texas drivers face the greater risk of being killed on the road.
Truck and Bus Collisions: Real Texas Tragedies
The statistics about truck and bus accidents are far more than abstract numbers. Many Texas families are devastated by the injury or death of a loved one in a bus or truck accident. USA Today reports that dozens of Houston high school band members were injured when their bus crashed in southern Alabama. Federal investigators report that the bus driver was unresponsive before the accident occurred. Fortunately, no deaths occurred, and the school community came together in a touching way to assist the band in its recovery. According to Click 2 Houston, many school districts loaned band instruments to the school in order to replace those which were lost in the collision.
Not all accidents have such outcomes. One Houston bicyclist was killed after being struck by a dump truck in the area of Rice University. ABC 13 reports that initial investigations found the bicyclist may have been at fault for the accident. This sad case illustrates the difficulty many bus and truck drivers may have in seeing other road users due to their larger blind spots.
Large trucks and buses can cause extensive damage in a collision. Because of this, operators have a heightened duty of care to other road users. Bus or truck drivers who violate this duty can be found liable for all injuries and losses a victim sustains in an accident.
A Houston truck accident attorney can help victims protect their legal right to compensation after a bus or truck accident. This is also an important safety measure to deter other truck and bus drivers from unsafe driving habits in the future.