Some of the most unusual crashes can occur on Texas highways, but regardless of their rarity, they can cause real issues for commuters and other drivers. Recently, a semi-truck carrying a load of avocados overturned on I-35, near Oltorf Street in Austin. The driver allegedly struck a cement barrier on the edge of the road and lost control. Neither the driver nor anyone else was injured, and no other vehicle was involved, though the road was closed for most of the night, including part of the early morning rush hour. While thankfully there appear to have been no injuries in this particular crash, semi-trucks do cause a large proportion of accident injuries and fatalities in any given year.
Texas Highways Require Caution
A large amount of U.S. shipping goes through Texas, and a large amount of that goes by road. Semi-trucks are common sights on Texas highways, and while the majority of their drivers operates their vehicles in a safe manner, their sheer numbers merit caution for cars and other smaller vehicles. 2017 statistics show 5430 vehicles involved in fatal crashes in Texas, of which approximately 10 percent were trucks. However, the percentage of fatalities in those accidents were markedly higher than those in accidents not involving trucks.
The reasons for such an elevated number of accidents and higher percentage of fatalities when compared to car-only accidents are many, but size plays a role. A semi-truck, especially when it is carrying a load, as the truck on I-35 was at the time, outweighs most other vehicles on the road by more than double, and if the driver loses control, the damage can be devastating. This also ties into the fact that a truck’s reaction time will generally be slower than that of an auto driver, thus leaving less time to brake or take other evasive measures if an accident seems imminent....