Over $1 Billion Won
For Our Clients

Leading Causes of Fatal Trucking Accidents in Houston

Not every incident involving a larger truck results in significant injuries or fatality, but these vehicles are much more likely to have catastrophic consequences than crashes involving just passenger vehicles. Larger commercial trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds, some of them reaching as much as 80,000 pounds when fully loaded with cargo. Here, we’ll review some of the leading causes of fatal trucking accidents in the Houston area.

If you have lost somebody you care about in an accident involving a larger truck in this area, please reach out to a reliable Houston truck accident attorney as soon as possible so you can begin the process of obtaining closure, compensation, and justice for what happened.

Why Are Trucking Accidents More Severe?

The size and weight of larger commercial trucks on the roadway make accidents more severe. The larger mass and momentum of trucks mean they hit with much greater force, leading to more severe consequences. Trucks also require much longer distances to come to a stop compared to passenger vehicles. This increased stopping distance can be particularly hazardous in sudden traffic changes, making rear-end collisions more likely and more severe.

Additionally, trucks have limited maneuverability, making it difficult for drivers to avoid collisions. Their size makes it challenging to make quick lane changes or sharp turns, which can lead to accidents, especially in heavy traffic or on narrow roads. Many commercial trucks also have a high center of gravity, which increases the chance of rollovers, particularly during sharp turns or sudden maneuvers. Rollovers can cause multi-vehicle collisions and significant road blockages.

Major Causes of Fatal Trucking Accidents

Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue causes collisions regularly. Truck drivers often work long hours, and federal regulations limit how long a driver can be on the road. However, these limits are sometimes ignored due to tight delivery schedules or financial pressures. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatigue is a factor in approximately 13% of large truck crashes. Adhering to hours-of-service regulations and ensuring drivers take adequate breaks can help prevent fatigue-related accidents.


Speeding is a common cause of trucking accidents. When truck drivers exceed the posted speed limit or operate too fast for conditions, the risk of losing control of the larger truck increases, especially around curves or in adverse weather conditions. High speeds reduce the time commercial truck drivers have to react to rapid changes in traffic or road conditions. Speeding also exacerbates the severity of collisions due to the increased force of impact.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a major problem for truck drivers, including truck drivers. Distractions can include using a mobile phone, reaching for objects, eating, adjusting a radio, or using navigation systems while driving. Distracted drivers are not completely focused on the road, increasing the likelihood of accidents. The FMCSA reports that distracted driving contributes to a significant number of trucking accidents each year. Implementing strict policies against mobile phone use and other distractions, along with educating drivers on the dangers of distracted driving, can help reduce these incidents.

Impaired Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications is a major cause of fatal trucking accidents. Impairment reduces a driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely, leading to poor decision-making and slower reaction times. Impaired driving is particularly dangerous due to the significant size and weight of trucks. Accidents involving impaired truck drivers are often catastrophic. Regular drug and alcohol testing and strict enforcement of zero-tolerance policies can help prevent impaired driving among truck drivers.

Inadequate Training and Experience

Operating a large commercial truck on Texas roadways requires training and experience. Inadequately trained or inexperienced drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. Inexperienced drivers may not know how to handle challenging driving conditions or emergency situations effectively, increasing the risk of accidents. Ensuring comprehensive training programs and ongoing education for truck drivers can help improve safety on the roads.

Poor Vehicle Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring that trucks are safe to operate. Mechanical failures such as brake failures, tire blowouts, and steering malfunctions can lead to fatal accidents. Trucking companies must maintain their vehicles and ensure that they meet safety standards. However, cost-cutting measures and negligence can lead to poorly maintained trucks being on the road, posing a significant risk to other motorists.

Improper Loading

How a truck is loaded plays a crucial role in its stability. Overloaded trucks or those with unevenly distributed cargo are more likely to roll over. Cargo shifts during transit can cause a loss of balance, leading to rollovers. Federal regulations require proper loading and securing of cargo to prevent such incidents. Ensuring that cargo is loaded correctly and adhering to weight limits can help prevent accidents caused by improper loading.

Adverse Weather Conditions

Adverse weather conditions such as rain, ice, and snow can make roads slippery and increase the risk of accidents. Truck drivers must be particularly cautious in these conditions, as the size and weight of their vehicles make them more difficult to control. Reduced visibility, slippery roads, and strong winds can all contribute to accidents. Drivers should adjust their speed, maintain a safe following distance, and be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions to reduce the risk of weather-related accidents.

Seeking Compensation and Legal Assistance

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal trucking accident, it is crucial to seek legal assistance to understand your rights and

pursue compensation. Determining liability in a trucking accident can be complex, involving multiple parties such as the truck driver, trucking company, cargo loaders, and vehicle manufacturers. An experienced attorney can help navigate these complexities and ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable. They can also handle negotiations with insurance companies to ensure that you receive fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

It is important to act quickly, as there are time limits for filing a claim. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident. Missing this deadline can result in recovering no compensation. Contact an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible to begin the process of obtaining justice for your loved one.

Contact Us
Request Your Free Consultation and Our Lawyer Will Contact You Within 1 Hour

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

* Required Field