In 2009, Texas truck accidents claimed 315 lives. The good news? That’s 138 fewer than in 2008. The bad news? It’s still more than 10% of all Texas car accident fatalities for the year.
One way the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is taking action to improve that number, is with a state-level program called TACT created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Texas is one of 12 states participating in the TACT (Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks) Program, a campaign that aims to educate both passenger vehicle drivers and commercial truck drivers about unsafe driving habits — particularly the ones that lead to fatal Texas truck accidents. These kinds of David and Goliath vehicle accidents don’t usually end with the underdog on top. Instead, when a tractor-trailer and a passenger vehicle collide, 78% of the resulting crash fatalities are the occupants of the smaller vehicle.
So, if we’re going to win a battle against Texas truck accidents, then we have to know our enemy, right? Well, a majority of the time, it’s not actually Goliath. It’s “aggressive driving.” Any drivers who “commit a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property” are guilty of aggressive driving. And even though an aggressive driver may have no ill intent, aggressive driving habits can quickly develop into a nightmare for the driver and any number of innocent victims.
We all get into hurries. We’ve all gotten tied up in Odessa when we’re supposed to be at a meeting in Midland, and vice versa. With that kind of delay, even the most conscientious driver can be pushed to drive too fast over the speed limit, too close to the car in front of her and too erratically for safety. Making multiple lane changes, failing to signal a turn and skipping the instructions on a traffic sign can have a disastrous outcome, especially if they pit a small car up against a commercial vehicle.
Aggressive driving around buses, motor coaches and tractor-trailers leaves absolutely no room for error. TACT wants you to know why.
- Multiple lane changes can put your car right into a truck driver’s blind spot the very second he, too, intends to change lanes.
- Driving with only, “Hurry up, I need to get there!” on your mind can cause you to miss an emergency situation in which a truck suddenly starts braking or swerves to avoid a hazard.
- Suddenly cutting in front of an over-sized vehicle can startle the driver and force an emergency stop. It takes longer to engage truck brakes than car brakes. If you should need an emergency stop after cutting in, the truck won’t be able to brake in time to avoid hitting you.
Aggressive driving leaves no winners. Attempting to get there faster isn’t worth the risk. A Texas truck accident leads only to catastrophic injury or death for a passenger vehicle driver.
If you are a truck driver who has been the victim of an accident caused by an aggressive driver, contact Texas truck accident lawyer Robert White at Childs, Bishop & White PC of Odessa, TX. Likewise, if you or your loved one has been injured in an accident caused by an aggressive truck, distracted or otherwise unsafe driver, ask Robert White to review your case today.