18-Wheeler Accidents on I-10 in Houston – Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
Call Us Immediately if You’ve Been Injured in a Houston-Area Truck Accident Along Interstate 10
As the fourth-longest highway in the United States, I-10 runs the width of this country through the south and southwest, connecting the East and West Coasts. Thus, the highway has become a vital lifeline in the trucking industry, and 18-wheelers drive down I-10 all-day, every day bringing a variety of goods from city to city and from one end of the country to another.
When this heavy commercial trucking traffic hits a big city like Houston, the rates of collisions with other vehicles shoots up dramatically, for there are several problems with numerous 18-wheelers on I-10. If you do a Google search for Houston 1-10 truck accidents, then you will likely find numerous newspaper articles, photos, and blogs detailing several gruesome accidents that have happened within the past week. Our Law Office wantsyou to understand why I-10 can be such a hazardous stretch of road for trucks, so you can avoid getting into collisions with 18-wheelers or understand that you’re not alone if you’ve already suffered through such an accident.
Houston is Always on the Grow
Beyond the high rate of big-rig traffic on I-10, the predominant reason that 18-wheeler accidents are so prevalent on this highway is congested population in the Houston Metroplex. With an estimated population just over of 2.3 million, Houston trails only New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago among American cities. Those numbers are only for the city of Houston itself, as the greater metropolitan area including suburbs boasted 5.6 million people. Moreover, Houston is constantly growing, and Woods and Poole Economic predicts the greater Houston area will add over 2.6 million more people by 2030 – the fifth-largest expected growth for any major metropolitan area in the country.
More People Means More Traffic
With 3.2 percent employment growth, Houston is well above the national average of 1.2 percent. Thus, Houston has many commuters. Houston trails only New York City in terms of playing host to headquarters of Fortune 500 companies. With a sprawling cityscape and woefully insufficient public transportation, most of these workers head to the office in their own cars. Texas A&M’s Texas Transportation Institute ranked Houston as the fourth-worst city in the United States in terms of traffic, and INRIX’s national survey on traffic named Houston’s congestion among the fastest growing in the United States.
With more traffic, come greater challenges for 18-wheelers and their drivers. Operating an 18-wheeler isn’t easy when the driver is on an open road in the middle of nowhere, but when traffic is snarling to a standstill and then speeding up again, it’s obviously much more challenging. Most 18-wheelers have 10 forward gears and two reverse gears, so speeding up and slowing down can be very difficult. Moreover, an 18-wheeler can take much longer to stop than a standard passenger car. When traffic is severe, like traffic on I-10 frequently is, more 18-wheeler accidents are going to occur due to statistical probability. Too much traffic plus large cumbersome 18-wheelers equals more accidents.
Massive Katy Freeway
Nowhere in Houston is the congestion problem more evident than on the portion of I-10 that runs from downtown westward to the large, affluent suburb of Katy. Known as the Katy Freeway, this stretch of I-10 is believed to be the widest freeway in the world, with 26 lanes including the frontage road (12 main lanes, 6 HOV lanes, and 8 access lanes). With so many lanes, the Katy Freeway still slows to a bumper-to-bumper crawl during typical rush hour. However, with so many lanes, traffic can speed up and slow down constantly, demanding vigilance from all the drivers on the highway. All of those drivers on the road, coupled with constant changes in speed, create hazardous conditions to be driving an 18-wheeler. As a result, many truck drivers who aren’t delivering their goods in Houston are advised to take I-290 and skirt the city rather than attempting to navigate I-10. Still, others ignore this warning or have cargo to deliver in the Houston area, so they’re forced to remain on I-10 and brave the congested conditions.
Nature of the Trucks
As you likely know if you live and work in Houston, the economic foundation of this area finds its roots in the oil and gas industries. While you’d be hard-pressed to find an oil well in the city limits, much of America’s oil is extracted from the nearby Gulf of Mexico before it is transported into the Houston area or nearby Beaumont (east of Houston on I-10) for refining. Many of the channels that cut inland from the Gulf run parallel to I-10, making it the highway of choice for transporting oil and any other cargo that is unloaded from ships. From the refineries, the oil or gas is then shipped out of the area, and if it’s heading east or west, it’s transported by tanker truck down I-10. Moreover, anything refined in Beaumont and headed west will also likely pass through Houston on I-10.
When a tanker truck gets into an accident, the value of its cargo isn’t nearly as evident as the volatility of the cargo. A tanker truck can turn into a rolling bomb when it is involved in an accident carrying flammable liquid. All too often, when an 18-wheeler gets into a wreck on I-10, the fire department finds a burned-out truck and, in many cases, several other vehicles that have been completely destroyed by fire.
Baytown East Freeway Problems
18 wheeler accident lawyer in Houston
The portion of I-10 that runs east from downtown to Baytown is known as the Baytown East Freeway or simply the East Freeway. Since this highway connects Houston to the oil refining hotbed of Beaumont, it boasts a high volume of tanker truck traffic and thus, subsequently a high rate of dangerous accidents involving tanker trucks and their unpredictable cargo.
Do you have a legal issue or question?
With so many hazards posed to 18-wheelers on I-10, it may be that you or someone you love have been involved an accident with one of these large commercial vehicles in the Houston area. If you wish to know what legal options you have available after an accident with an 18-wheeler, then call us today for a free consultation. We’ve been helping Texans litigate their personal injury and wrongful death claims for over two decades, so we have the knowledge and experience you need to secure the compensation warranted by the harm done to you.
18-Wheeler Accidents on I-45 in Houston – Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
Were You Injured in a Houston-Area Accident on Interstate 45 That Wasn’t Your Fault?
Since it connects two of the nine largest cities in the country (Houston at No. 4 and Dallas at No. 9), I-45 plays an extremely important role for both intrastate and interstate commerce. If something needs to be shipped by truck from the Dallas to Houston, then it’s highly likely to be hauled down I-45.
Furthermore, any product made in Houston and headed north is likely to be transported via 18-wheeler on I-45 before connecting with I-75 in downtown Dallas and proceeding northward. In the same way, any large quantity of cargo headed to Houston from the Midwest is likely to come south in a commercial truck down I-75 before picking up I-45 in Dallas and continuing on to Houston.
With all of this 18-wheeler traffic on I-45, there will always be an accompanying high rate of accidents involving these trucks. At our Law Office, we’ve spent decades helping 18-wheeler accident victims and their families in the Houston area and throughout Texas; thus, we know all too well just how common and dangerous 18-wheeler accidents on I-45 can be. We want you to know just why commercial truck accidents on this road are so frequent.
Understanding I-45 a Little Better
The portion of I-45 that runs in and around the Houston area (from outlying suburb Conroe in the north to Galveston in the south) is commonly thought of as being two distinct highways by locals. From Conroe until intersecting I-10 in downtown, the freeway is called the North Freeway. There, the highway briefly turns east-west to form the southern boundary of downtown Houston for a raised portion of I-45 known as the Pierce Elevated. Then, I-45 is known as the Gulf Freeway until it terminates on Galveston Island. Both the north and south portions of the highway present unique problems for 18-wheelers that we will discuss later on in this article.
Major Traffic Problems Throughout the City
No matter what highway you’re driving down in Houston, traffic is going to be a problem. While Houston doesn’t rank among the leaders in the United States according to INRIX’s recently released study of time that commuters spend in traffic per year, Houston’s traffic problems were ranked fourth in the nation by Texas A&M’s Texas Transportation Institute. This is mostly due to the sheer volume of traffic on its roadways. However, INRIX did find that Houston’s traffic was among the nation’s leaders in growth over the past 10 years. That stat should not be a surprise, since Houston, like all cities in Texas, is blooming at an extraordinary rate. Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States with just over 2.3 million citizens and another 3.5 million living in the greater metropolitan area.
For truckers, this means that I-45 is clogged full of traffic in peak hours, with recent studies by TXDOT showing that 65 percent of traffic on I-45 is headed in the direction of the peak commuters (toward downtown in the morning and toward the suburbs in the evenings). Also, traffic in Houston is so severe that unexpected slowdowns can occur at off-peak times as well, and any major accident can lead to complete gridlock. In recent years, traffic in the southern half of the city came to standstill after a freak accident in which a dump truck’s carriage raised during transit, causing the trailer to ram into and become lodged on an overhanging freeway sign. The situation remained like this with the road closed for the rest of the day and into the night, as officials feared the overhanging sign could fall on the road.
When it comes to the safety of operating an 18-wheeler, more traffic often translates into more accidents. Big rigs are not easily operated, usually have 10 gears (and sometimes more), and they only have 10 brakes on the 18 wheels, which slows the braking rate to roughly 40 percent that of a standard passenger car. When there are more cars on the road, there are more hazards the truck needs to avoid, and statistically there will be more 18-wheelers unable to dodge danger.
Constant Intersections with Other Highways
As it runs through the Houston area, I-45 constantly intersects with one highway after another – I-10, State Highway 59 (Southwest Freeway), State Highway 35, State Highway 288 (Eastex Freeway, Hardy Toll Road, Highway 610 (the Loop Freeway), and Sam Houston Tollway (8 Beltway). As a matter of fact, The Loop and the Beltway both circle the city, so I-45 crosses them both twice, once in the North Freeway and once in the Gulf Freeway.
With so much traffic flowing into and out of I-45, the traffic on I-45 can be chaotic. This pell-mell atmosphere can be hard on passenger car motorists, but it places an even greater strain on the drivers of 18-wheelers to get their cargo to its destination safely. Of particular note, the interchange where I-45 connects with The Loop and State Highway 35 in downtown Houston has traffic crisscrossing to various different exits in every direction. With such chaos, it’s no surprise that this portion of the highway has become a hot spot for 18-wheeler accidents.
Gulf Freeway Hazards
As the Gulf Freeway runs from south of downtown to the Galveston Bay, Galveston, and the Gulf of Mexico, this segment of I-45 is littered with tanker trucks, carrying oil and gas in from offshore to the big city. Moreover, the Houston area is home to several chemical factories, adding to the volatile mix. When tanker trucks carrying unstable liquids are involved in accidents, the harmful effects to the drivers and passengers of vehicles around them can be extraordinary. If you search the Internet for truck accidents on I-45, you will find the results for several news stories involving chemical fires as a result of accidents with tanker trucks.
As is the case with most highways in Texas, the Gulf Freeway also presents complications from construction. While there are always small construction jobs at work on the highway, a major project can cause many problems. The five-mile portion of I-45 from Kurland Rd. to Clear Lake City Blvd is being expanded from six to 10 lanes on the highway and from four to six lanes on the frontage road. Overpasses are also being rebuilt on Dixie Farm Rd. and Clear Lake City Blvd.
With construction comes added traffic congestion that creates additional problems for 18-wheelers, as we’ve already discussed. Lanes will be closed, forcing cars to merge, and many drivers are aggressive with the way they drive in such situations. When one of these aggressive drivers comes into contact with an 18-wheeler, they sometimes learn first hand and the hard way just how difficult it is to slow a semi-truck down in a hurry in order to avoid an accident. In addition to the other cars, construction workers – on and next to the highway – present problems for 18-wheelers. The sheer size of 18-wheelers sometimes leads to collisions with workers or their machinery. Or, a truck driver will swerve to avoid hitting a construction worker only to collide with another vehicle or obstacle.
Adding to the challenges for truck drivers on the Gulf Freeway is the Minute Maid Park in downtown and the Johnson Space Center outside Clear Lake – both less than a mile removed from I-45. For Minute Maid Park, this means 81 days a year in which the Houston Astros will be playing baseball will involved congested traffic on I-45. While some games are played during the day, in the heat of a South Texas summer, most are contested at night, which merely adds to the complications of the downtown rush hour. This means for a quarter of the year, truck drivers can face even greater challenges from congestion on I-45 when trying to fend their way through the city.
As far as Johnson Space Center goes, truck drivers face two problems. First, many tourists who aren’t from Houston travel to the Magnolia City to see the headquarters of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration. This means that the tourists who are unfamiliar with the area will be preoccupied with finding the space center and may not be paying attention to the world around them. When you’re on a highway and surrounded by potentially dangerous 18-wheelers, many of which may be carrying volatile chemicals, your full attention is demanded. Anything less could lead to a collision with a semi-truck.
Second, when large pieces of space exploration vehicles or machinery are transported to and from the Johnson Space Center, they’re likely to head down I-45. As we’ve explained, navigating a busy highway like the Gulf Freeway in an 18-wheeler is already difficult, but it’s even more so if the truck is hauling a flatbed trailer with an over-sized cargo trailer.
North Freeway Hazards
On the north freeway, the greatest complication for truckers comes from the high number of other drivers. The populations of Spring, The Woodlands, and Conroe have each at least doubled in the past 20 years. Most of these communities are comprised of upscale, high-end suburban homes, with most of their occupants working somewhere south in incorporated Houston. This creates a great deal of highway traffic on the North Freeway with which truck drivers must contend.
Just as is the case with the Gulf Freeway, construction will also cause challenges for 18-wheelers on the North Freeway into the near future. In an effort to better accommodate the growing populations of the northern Houston suburbs, the North Freeway is being expanded to eight lanes all the way up to Exit 92, Farm-to-Market Rd. 830 and to six lanes all the way up to Exit 98, State Hwy. 75. All of this additional construction will only make navigation of the North Freeway harder for truck drivers.
With oil and trucking companies like Chevron-Phillips, Anadarko Petroleum, and Maersk International headquartered in The Woodlands, the North Freeway is no stranger to trucking traffic either. This, of course, includes truck drivers transporting goods between Dallas and Houston.
Not only does I-45 have a heavy load of 18-wheeler traffic due to the oil industry and goods being hauled from Dallas and Houston, but there’s also an abundance of trucks doing business into and out of both airports located just off I-45. George W. Bush International Airport is adjacent to the North Freeway, while Houston Hobby International lies less than a mile from the Gulf Freeway. Many goods are flown into the airports where they are picked up and hauled off by trucks, using the closest highway for transport – I-45. As we’ve explained, increased 18-wheeler traffic tends to lead to increased truck accidents.
Reversible HOV Lanes
Both the North and Gulf Freeways feature reversible HOV lanes that can lead to 18-wheeler accidents. During peak hours, the HOV lanes flow with traffic, and then they’re reversed to go in the other direction for the other half of the day. When drivers – either of 18-wheelers or passenger cars – are unfamiliar with these reversible lanes or just aren’t paying attention, then they can be forced into situations where they need to change lanes swiftly in order to avoid being stuck in an HOV lane. This can lead to someone swerving out in front of an 18-wheeler in heavy traffic, or worse, an 18-wheeler suddenly attempting to force its way into another lane. Both situations can end in a serious collision.
Whether referred to as the Gulf Freeway or the North Freeway, I-45 can be a treacherous road for 18-wheelers driving through the Houston area. If one of the all-too-common 18-wheeler wrecks on I-45 has injured you or killed someone in your family, then you need to discuss your case with a competent Houston 18-wheeler accident attorney. We have more than 20 years of experience litigating truck accident case, and we offer a free consultation to anyone wanting to know more about truck accident cases. If you’d like to discuss your situation with someone who can help, call us now.
18-Wheeler Accidents on Loop 610 in Houston – Houston Personal Injury Lawyers
Speak With Our Injury Attorneys About Your Commercial Truck Accident Today
When Texans hear the word “traffic” many of them think of Houston. And when they think of Houston, the first road that may appear in their minds is Loop 610. Although everyone needs a road to get to and from work every day, they will sometimes feel as if the highway is simply a mobile parking garage. Due to the congestion on Loop 610, an 18-wheeler accident can cause major delays in traffic.
Being that our law firm has litigated hundreds of truck accident cases throughout the state of Texas including numerous cases that have taken place on Houston highways, we have seen firsthand how the confusing nature of Houston’s roadways can contribute to accidents. However, just because a truck driver is not familiar with Houston’s roadways does not mean that they are excused from causing an accident. Furthermore, it’s important for you as an accident victim to understand the rights and remedies available to you. It is also important for you to understand some of the underlying reasons for your truck accident on Highway 610. If you would like to discuss your potential case with our attorneys, feel free to call us.
Specific Concerns Regarding the Loop
For those unfamiliar with Loop 610, it is formally known as I-610, which – despite being labeled an “interstate” – is found only in Texas and Louisiana. The Houston portion of the road is by far the more hectic and dangerous of the two, as it effectively surrounds the inner city of Houston. Seeing as how Houston is the fourth largest metropolitan area in the United States, it makes perfect sense why the road is both busy and dangerous: a wide variety of drivers are on the road all at once, including truckers.
The Loop has four major quadrants: one for the North, East, South, and West. Of these portions, there are several intersections and mergers with roads that can be just as busy as Loop 610 itself. Highway 290, for instance, is a major junction for North Loop and West Loop, while Highway 90 intersects with the Eastern and Northern sections. The South Loop crosses State Highway 225 as well, so you cannot realistically escape heavy traffic at any point in rush hour while on this road. Once you add in all of the negligent drivers, including some very tired truckers, it should become clear why Loop 610 is dangerous. The only way to navigate the Loop without great trouble is for motorists to cooperate with each other, driving with care and alertness. However, this rarely happens, and when truckers become the cause of an accident, traffic can be chaotic and dangerous.
Keep in mind that this is all said without even mentioning its connections to I-10/Katy Freeway, I-45/North Freeway, and 290, which is a huge feeder of Austin traffic bound straight for downtown. All of these clogs are more than enough to result in a truck driver rear-ending someone’s vehicle – possibly your own. This all-too common occurrence can result in severe back issues, such as herniated discs, fracturing, or even paralysis. Additionally, you or a loved one may also be victim to whiplash, which amounts to considerable pain around the shoulders and neck. Worst of all, the accident may be so terrible that it takes the life of a loved one sitting in the back of your vehicle, warranting pursuit of a wrongful death claim.
Handle the Defense with Our Law Offices – Houston 18 wheeler accident lawsuit
It should be clear, then, just how much of a threat Loop 610 can be, but not for its own sake. Rather, it is because of the carelessness and irresponsibility of others that all four ends of the Loop are battle zones, whether it’s due to distractions, drowsy driving, or other forms of negligence.
In short, just because the 610 Loop is a gathering ground of poor behavior does not mean that those who are the source of its equally poor traffic should go unpunished. For your and society’s sake, the 18-wheeler responsible for your accident on Interstate 610 Houston should be held liable for any and all of your damages, which include all of the costs associated with paying for and recovering from this incident.
Likewise, skilled defense attorneys could be serious thorns in the side of your accident lawsuit. As representatives for the defendant, it is their duty to place doubt in the jury’s collective mind that the plaintiff has met the required burden of proof, and as such, it is virtually a part of their job description to deflect blame elsewhere. Blaming other motorists, distractions on the road, or even yourself could come up in a case, and Texas law allows them to do that. Thus, because you have a burden of proof to establish that the defendant’s negligence led to your condition, and because there will be such fierce opposition, you must hire an attorney in order to claim the compensation that you deserve.
Our Law Office has been dealing with matters like these for over 20 years. In that time, we have served the Houston area well, tirelessly fighting so that our clients can see the financial compensation that they are due. We are prepared to work on your behalf, so if you would like to begin pursuing legal action over an 18-wheeler accident, or just want to gather more information, then call us. The call is free of charges, as is the consultation.
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers – 18-Wheeler Accidents on Houston Toll Roads
Have You Been Hurt in a Truck Accident on Hardy Toll Road or the Sam Houston Tollway?
Houston’s toll roads were designed to alleviate many of the normal pains related to traffic on the majority of its highways. The model for a tollway is quite simple; by allowing only paying motorists onto a roadway, you thereby financially discriminate, which results in less traffic overall. And just as the idea of less traffic doubtlessly appeals to you, truck drivers who are running against a tight schedule will also find Houston’s tollways to be enticing.
But therein lies the problem: as truck drivers attempt to cover as many miles as possible in as little time as possible, a tollway often becomes an inviting host to their reckless driving.
You might be aware of all of the problems in and around your local interstates: clogged traffic, drivers crossing over multiple lanes without a turn signal, and general car accidents. But did you know that the toll roads of Houston are also susceptible to wrecks, including those involving 18-wheeler accidents? Chances are high that if you are reading this article, you are painfully aware of this susceptibility, and are now aspiring to seek compensation from the trucking company that let loose the irresponsible driver who caused your or your loved one’s wreck. Whether this is a personal injury or wrongful death matter, Our Law Office is ready to advise you on how to move forward with making this claim.
However, you could be wondering what sorts of major issues we will address, or perhaps don’t typically drive on toll roads. To that end, we will discuss accidents that happen toll roads, as well as the additional dangers resulting from semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. If you have any questions about your potential claim, or wish to speak with our attorneys at Our Law Office, contact us toll-free.
Toll Roads in Houston Cost More than Money
Before dealing with the risks of Houston area tollways, we must first briefly discuss some of the most important ones that could have played host to your 18-wheeler accident. The Hardy Toll Road stretches from I-45 all the way until I-610 (“The Loop”), paralleling much of the way. Additionally, Sam Houston Tollway runs near the outer-loop area, taking in traffic from nearby suburbs and feeding it into downtown Houston.
For the most part, tolls make any given trip more expensive, but have the added bonus of clearing out much of congested traffic. Unfortunately, entering and exiting a toll road has its share of complications, especially with a big rig. Normally, most vehicles can zip through thanks to the advent of toll tags; however, sometimes these expressways are down, and so you – as well as any truckers –must exit briefly or go through a manual booth. Most people would stop, but some are negligent enough to just keep going, eventually fated to rear-end the vehicles right in front of them. When a trucker rear-ends your car, it’s going to be at least serious damage to it, and at worst, serious damage to you: 18-wheeler rear-ends are known to cause spinal issues, as well as long-term pain to the back, shoulders, and neck. Worse yet, though, is the instance where an 18-wheeler drives where it does not have clearance, potentially hitting a sign or pillar, sending debris right onto or in front of your car.
Still, more toll roads are eventually going to come in from the outer areas of Houston into the inner loop region. Of these, one notable one is Fort Bend Parkway, which is constantly the subject of construction, the main idea being that it can someday connect to 610. If it is the case that your trucking accident in Houston took place on this toll road or one like it, then chances are high that it was construction-triggered. Regarding the trucker himself, it’s no secret that tired drivers behind the wheel of a big rig are dangerous, but public employees who are entering and exiting construction zones can also pose a serious accident risk. For example, a highway worker’s vehicle may be improperly parked on a shoulder, posing a hazard to the passing drivers. This type of accident can lead to the driver’s side of a vehicle being struck, which can amount to some of the most debilitating injuries like broken arms, paralysis, or death.
Include the various roads intersecting with the tollways, all being sizable threats to your safe travel, and a once-convenient trip can turn into a tragedy. Yet, in spite of where the accident transpired, the duty of care that any reasonable truck driver owes to you should never be neglected. If the duty of care was neglected the trucker in your 18-wheeler accident lawsuit, we implore you to seek a legal remedy as soon as convenient.
Our Law Offices Will Charge the Defense – Our Houston 18 wheeler accident attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case.
Of course, choosing the right representatives to handle your Houston 18-wheeler accident lawsuit will demand meticulous attention to detail, a proven ability to explain aspects of a case to a jury, and a dedication to your victory. At Our Law Offices, you will receive just that: our attorneys know all about the tollways in and around Houston, the accidents that happen there, and all of the best strategies to advocate on your behalf. In other words, we know a lot about the law, as well as meeting a burden of proof.
Are you in pursuit of financial compensation due to personal injury or wrongful death? If so, call Our Law Office toll-free. Our conversation with you will be kept private, and you will not be charged for this call, meaning that there is no reason to hesitate. See why we have two decades of stellar service to our clients, and get us working on your claim as soon as today.
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Truck Accidents on Highway 59 in Houston
Were You injured in an 18-Wheeler Accident on Southwest Freeway?
Running from the Mexican border at Nuevo Laredo all the way to the Canadian border in Manitoba, US-59 is one of the busiest highways in the United States with more than 370,000 vehicles estimated to be traveling it on a daily basis. US-59, also known as the Southwest Freeway, isn’t the busiest highway for interstate 18-wheeler traffic, though. It does, however, serve a vital purpose in connecting Houston to Mexico via the border crossing in Laredo, and this leads to a high volume of international trucking traffic coming up highway 59 into the “Magnolia City”. When Mexican-owned and operated trucks frequent a highway, this can lead to a high rate of accidents and can make the already challenging legal situation of an 18-wheeler accident that much more perplexing.
Challenges Presented by Mexican Trucking Operations
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) eased the restrictions barring trade between the United States and Mexico, but the effects weren’t fully seen in the long-haul trucking industry until 2011. Prior to that time, Mexican truckers were allowed to enter the United States but could not transport their cargo farther than 25 miles from the border. Any Mexican cargo intended for locations within the U.S. interior needed to be loaded onto an American truck on this side of the Rio Grande before continuing to its intended location.
Starting in April 2011, though, the Obama administration eased the restrictions on Mexican truck drivers and began letting them carry cargo into the interior United States. Many critics objected to this plan citing legitimate concerns over a lack of regulation of Mexican trucking that could lead to a lack of safety. So, the Obama administration proposed a three-year pilot program that permitted international trucking between Mexico and the United States so long as Mexican truckers speak English, their trucks are protected with U.S. insurance, and the trucks pass a safety inspection for every border crossing for the first three months of international trucking. Moreover, Mexican truckers are expected to comply with all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations while driving trucks within the United States.
While these regulations seemingly provided for safe trucking, they didn’t detail a means to instruct Mexican trucking companies and truck drivers on the specifics of the FMCSA rules – there was no education program implemented. Nor are Mexican truck drivers expected to obtain American commercial driver’s licenses, so many of them aren’t going to be trained in the safe operation of an 18-wheeler. Furthermore, trucks only need to pass safety inspections for the first three months, and after that they can be dangerously under-maintained. In Mexico, there are very few safety mandates regulating the trucking industry, so trucks that are unfit for travel often end up crossing the border.
Next, there’s the question of how to pursue compensation after you’re injured in an accident with a Mexican truck that wasn’t following FMCSA guidelines or hadn’t had a safety inspection in months. With an international border standing in the way, there will obviously be problems filing a lawsuit and obtaining restitution from a Mexican trucking company. Additionally, proving any impropriety will be difficult since Mexican trucking companies are not subject to the same record-keeping regulations as their American counterparts.
What does all of this means to someone driving down Highway 59 in Houston? All one has to do is look at a map. This highway meanders down from Houston all the way to Laredo passing through a few small cities along the way. Since there’s a decent amount of Mexican trucking traffic present on US-59 there is also an increased likelihood that an 18-wheeler accident will occur on this road due to a mechanical malfunction in an unsafe truck or a driver falling asleep at the wheel.
US-59 Takes Winding Path Through Houston
While considered a north-south highway, US-59 actually approaches Houston diagonally and then turns east-west briefly inside Loop-610 near Rice University before then turning north-south and then again diagonally on its way out of town to the northeast. Not only does US-59 twist and turn through the city, but the highway heads right through the heart of town featuring some of the densest traffic in the city. When you combine this factor with the Mexican truck drivers on US-59 who aren’t accustomed to American traffic congestion, you have a recipe for disaster. Since US-59 passes right by Rice University, some accidents on this stretch of highway will involve college students. Defense lawyers love when the victim is a college-aged driver, for there is a commonly held prejudice against young people that they’re more likely to speed, make reckless driving decisions, or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Regardless of whether or not this is true in your case, the defense may try to prey upon this prejudice to convince the jury that you caused the wreck. By putting only part of the blame on you the trucking company or its insurer can still save precious corporate assets.
On the northern end of Houston, the challenge for Mexican and American truck drivers alike on US 59 tends to come from traffic congestion. US 59 passes out of the Houston area to the north through Humble and Kingswood, two popular commuter suburbs. From there, it quickly turns into a rural highway rolling through the pine forests of East Texas, which poses a different hazard – boredom and the possibility of getting lulled into a lack of attention through exhaustion and monotony.
Whether you’ve been injured in an accident with an American 18-wheeler or will be pursuing compensation from a Mexican trucking company, you’re likely going to need the assistance of a dependable Texas accident attorney to stand a chance of obtaining the restitution your injuries warrant. At Our Law Office, we’ve been litigating 18-wheeler accident cases for more than two decades so we’ve accumulated the experience you need to help you after you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed in Houston. To learn more about what we can do for you or just to get the answers to all of the nagging questions you must have, call us now for a free consultation.
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Truck Accidents on The Sam Houston Tollway
What to do Following an Injury Accident With an 18-Wheeler Truck on the Sam Houston Tollway
In order to alleviate traffic problems, many large cities build beltways around the city that allow traffic to skirt downtown and avoid the worst traffic. In Houston, it is a major problem, so much so that the city actually has two beltways – Loop 610 and Beltway 8, also known as the Sam Houston Tollway.
For the purposes of this article, we will be examining why 18-wheeler accidents are so prevalent on the Sam Houston Tollway and what you should do if you’re injured or someone you love has been killed in an 18-wheeler accident on Sam Houston Tollway.
Need for Another Bypass
As soon as Loop 610 was completed during the 1950s, Houston residents and city planners realized the need for another bypass around the city to relieve traffic congestion. Loop 610 is within city limits and there needed to be some way for trucking traffic to skirt around the inner city. Your average 18-wheeler is six times as long as a passenger car, so the accumulation of trucks quickly leads to heavy roadway congestion.
The groundwork was laid for the Sam Houston Tollway in the early 1970s when construction first began on the Beltway to originally serve as a surface street that loops around the city. People immediately began calling for this to be expanded into a bypass highway. Despite the clamor for this road to be renovated, the Texas Turnpike Authority refused the improvements. Thus, in 1983, Harris County voters approved $900 million for the creation of the Harris County Toll Road Authority which would oversee construction and operation of two toll roads – the Hardy Toll Road to alleviate traffic between Montgomery County and downtown Houston, and the Sam Houston Tollway that would circle the city.
Plans called for the Sam Houston Tollway to be laid out on the land already used by Beltway Road, with the tollway crossing over the Houston Ship Channel on the Jesse H. Jones Memorial Bridge that was already a toll bridge. Gradually, the tollway opened in sections as they were completed, with the first cars passing down the section from Interstate 10 to U.S. Route 290 in 1989. Construction continued through the 1990s and into the new millennium, with the final touches put in place on Feb. 26, 2011. The Sam Houston Tollway still offers some short free sections, and the size of the road fluctuates between two to four lanes headed in either direction.
Why 18-Wheeler Accidents Commonly Occur on Sam Houston Tollway
When 18-wheelers are just passing through town, they tend to take highway bypasses where they are able to speed on the way to their destinations. Thus, any bypass will have a high percentage of commercial trucks. Since the Sam Houston Tollway is a toll road, the percentage of trucks among overall traffic only increases. A person driving his or her own car must pay the tolls, but the trucking company picks up the tab for their trucks. Therefore, truck drivers have every incentive to take any toll bypass that could speed them along to their destination. On the Sam Houston Tollway, specifically, the typical glut of 18-wheelers is further compounded by the fact that this particular tollway passes right over the Houston Shipping Channel and through the southeastern portion of Houston where shipping and oil companies have their operations. This creates a steady flow of trucks to come off and on the tollway picking up and dropping off shipments.
There’s a very basic mathematical equation that can explain the prevalence of trucking accidents on certain roads: more 18-wheelers = more accidents. Commercial vehicles are far more cumbersome and difficult to maneuver than passenger cars. When many of them are traveling the same highway at high speeds, it’s a recipe for disaster. At the same time, they’re much larger and do far greater harm when they collide with other vehicles.
The Sam Houston Tollway adds to the threat of 18-wheelers by shifting back and forth from two, to three, to four lanes. When truck drivers are not paying attention, they can be forced to make quick decisions in the spur of the moment and their vehicles can’t always respond in turn.
Pursuing Compensation After an 18-wheeler Wreck on the Sam Houston Tollway
When you or someone you love is involved in an 18-wheeler accident on the Sam Houston Tollway, the wreck is likely to result in serious harm and not just due to the size of the 18-wheeler. The proximity to the Houston shipping channel often can mean that trucks on the tollway are transporting oil or other hazardous chemicals that can significantly magnify the destructive force of an 18-wheeler.
If you have suffered an injury or have lost a loved one in a collision with an 18-wheeler on the Sam Houston Tollway, you can seek compensation with a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit provided the truck driver or trucking company negligently caused the accident. In most cases, though, you will need to be able to prove exactly what the negligent party did to make the wreck occur and exactly why it should be liable. To succeed with that agenda, you will likely need the assistance of an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney who can perform a diligent investigation in a timely fashion and locate the evidence necessary to establish negligence and liability. In order to give your lawyer a chance to succeed, you must hire him or her post haste, allowing them time to find the evidence before it has been destroyed. No highway accident scene remains in place waiting to be investigated. You must act quickly.
At Our Law Office, our attorneys have more than 20 years experience with 18-wheeler accident cases, and we offer you the opportunity to call us for a free consultation before committing to hire our firm. To learn more about what we can do for you after a truck accident on the Sam Houston Tollway, call us today.
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Truck Accidents on Fort Bend Parkway in Houston
Have You Been Injured in an Accident With a Houston 18-Wheeler on Fort Bend Parkway?
As the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston is known for having very serious traffic problems. People from all over the country have flocked to Houston and the city has been left to find solutions to dealing with the increase of traffic. Fort Bend Parkway is one of these solutions.
Built from US-90 in southern Harris County to Highway 6 in the eastern Fort Bend County suburb of Missouri City, the Fort Bend Parkway Toll Road has become a common site of 18-wheeler accidents.
History of Fort Bend Parkway
Even before the population boom came to Houston in the 1980s, the need to relieve highway traffic in the “Magnolia City” was evident. The Texas Department of Transportation even began building a highway running southwest from Loop 610 in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Thus, when Fort Bend County approved a $140 million bond issue to begin building this toll road northeast, Harris County used the corridor that had already been laid out years before to build the last fives miles of the northern end of the road. The Fort Bend Parkway Toll Road was opened in August of 2004.
High Rate of 18-Wheeler Wrecks
Fort Bend Parkway Toll Road was designed to allow quick and easy access from central Houston to Missouri City as the party using the road is willing to pay the tolls. Considering Houston’s massive traffic problems, the toll road has quickly become a favorite of 18-wheeler traffic. As we have said elsewhere on this website – where there is increased 18-wheeler traffic there will be an increased number of accidents involving these vehicles.
Furthermore, the ongoing construction at the northern terminus of Fort Bend Parkway only adds to the problem. Not only is there the increased possibility of stop and go traffic due to lanes being closed, but there will also be changes in the exits and physical state of the road leading to confusion and last-second decisions for drivers. A car can make a move at the last second without causing a problem in most cases, but it’s different for 18-wheelers. They need time to react and maneuver. In other words, the chances of 18-wheeler accidents occurring on Fort Bend Parkway Toll Road are very high.
Our Law Offices Can be of Assistance
If someone you love has been killed or you have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck on the Fort Bend Parkway Toll Road, then you will likely need the help of an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney to successfully seek compensation for the harm that has been inflicted upon you and your family.
You need an experienced lawyer who can find the evidence you need to demonstrate the negligence of the trucker, the trucking company, or some other third party who is to blame for the wreck. You also need someone on your side who knows how to take the evidence found and use it to either force the liable party to settle fairly or to devise a trial strategy that can make them pay in court.
To learn more about how you can take advantage of the more than two decades of experience compiled by our lawyers at Our Law Office after you’ve been injured call us today for a free consultation.
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Truck Accidents on the Hardy Toll Road
Were You Injured in a Houston 18-Wheeler Accident on the Hardy Toll-Road?
The Hardy toll road in Houston, Texas, runs north and south for 21 miles from the 610 Loop to the Woodlands in Spring, Texas, and is the second busiest toll road in the United States. Hardy connects commuters from the northern area of Harris County to the George Bush Airport and downtown Houston. Thus, the Hardy Toll Road connects consumers, retailers, business people, truckers and travelers from outside the state to the Harris County metroplex.
Accidents are common on the Hardy Toll Road due to the amount of traffic that moves on the road every day. In once instance, an accident occurred near East Crosstimbers and the southbound portion of the road was shut down to one lane until the accident was cleared. Sadly, these types of wrecks are going to be common place when you have such a populated area using the freeways.
18-wheelers travel all over the Houston area and utilize the Hardy Toll Road to move quickly in and out of the city. Motor Carriers are bringing goods from the ports located near the gulf and moving through the Houston area to distribute them there and to other parts of the country. Due to the size and weight of these vehicles, the amount of damage a negligent truck driver can inflict can be quite large.
George Bush Airport
The George Bush Airport is an international airport and is also a major distribution center for packages coming from all over the world. Truck drivers are constantly in a rush to move in and out of the centrally located airport in order to unload cargo to be shipped and to receive cargo that needs to be distributed. When leaving the George Bush Airport they often use the Hardy Toll Road as the initial leg of their distribution route. If drivers are tired from long hauls or feeling pressure from tight deadlines the smallest mistake can turn deadly for other vehicles on the road.
As the population grows in Harris County and the surrounding communities, the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) is addressing the issue with future proposed expansions. Currently, the northern end of the roadway ends just south of the Woodlands, but as the Montgomery County area expands the HCTRA is planning to start construction on expanding it to Conroe. The HCTRA has also proposed the “Hardy Toll Road Downtown Connector Project”. This would move the southern access point located at Loop 610 to downtown Houston. This should alleviate the commuter congestion on Interstate 45 and allow for quicker access for truckers coming in from Dallas.
Our Law Office serves Houston, Harris County, and the surrounding areas. Our attorneys have years of experience and can help you if you’ve been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler. Your case is important to us; which is why we will take the time to discuss your case with you and provide you with the information you need. We can be reached any time, day or night.
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Truck Accidents on the Westpark Tollway
Speak With Our Attorneys Today if You’ve Been in an Accident With an 18-Wheeler on the Westpark Tollway
Houston,Texas is one of the largest cities in the country, and Westpark Tollway spans the distance between the city’s western side and the downtown area. 18-wheelers coming in from San Antonio are likely to take their hauls through this corridor in order to avoid the more congested traffic of Houston’s other interstate freeways and for quicker access to south Houston. Although this is a new stretch of freeway recently completed in 2005, large truck accidents do occur on this stretch of new road. Access is still limited on the tollway because due to heavily populated surround areas, the tollways was designed never to be expanded. Due to this, the tollway is approximately 550 feet wide and also has shorter entrance and exit ramps, giving 18-wheelers a shorter distance to accelerate on to the tollway or to decelerate and come to a stop while exiting the tollway. The shorter width also means that if an 18-wheeler were to have an accident, there is less room for other vehicles to get out of the way.
At Our Law Office we have experience with 18-wheeler accidents in the Houston area. Our attorneys are also familiar with the unique issues dealing with accidents involving motor carriers, passenger cars, and toll roads. If you have been in accident on the Westpark Tollway call us now to get up to speed on your legal options.
Houston is so heavily populated that even roads that are built to help handle the large amount of traffic can cause congestion on service roads like the Westpark Tollway. Any business commuter is already familiar with the stress of driving in heavily congested traffic. For the driver of an 18-wheeler however, the stress is multiplied by the length of the time they spend driving, the pressure of delivery times where if they don’t meet them they won’t get paid, and the fatigue of the long hours of their job. Combine these elements with the shorter width and ramps of the Westpark Tollway, and the percentage chance of accident is increased greatly.
When an 18-wheeler is caught in this type of traffic, then you have a much larger vehicle that weighs considerably more than the passenger car next to it or in front of it, and yet has the same amount of stopping distance to control their vehicle. The chances of being rear-ended increase greatly. The problem with being rear-ended by an 18-wheeler is that the damage to the car is going to be much more devastating and the chance of serious injury to the driver or passengers is going to increase exponentially.
Westpark Tollway begins in Fort Bend County and brings in business commuters every weekday in Harris County and into the surrounding business centers populating the area around Beltway 8. Traveling alongside them are 18-wheelers coming in from Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi so that they may deliver their cargo loads to downtown distribution centers.
It is an interesting mix of drivers who are just waking up in the morning, are distracted by their cell phones, or truck drivers who are exhausted from traveling long distances. On a road like the Westpark Tollway, where the road size limits maneuverability, it is not difficult to envision a scenario in which a commuter distracted by a cell phone and an exhausted truck driver can be involved in an accident. For the commuter, the danger is more serious because a smaller passenger car is not going to be able to withstand the damage from an accident with an 18-wheeler.
18-wheeler accidents are common in the Houston area and just a likely to happen on the Westpark Tollway. If you have been injured or had your property damaged due to the negligence of an 18-wheeler the only way to receive compensation for your injuries and losses may be through a personal injury lawsuit. The attorneys at Our Law Office can advise you on your legal options and how to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and injury to yourself or your loved ones. Contact Our Law Offices today.