Speed and driver inattention are being blamed for a fatal Texas truck accident in San Antonio this week. According to My San Antonio, the victim Matthew Whatley had stopped his vehicle on interstate 37, and had flagged down a passing motorist, Urbano Ventura. As Whatley was standing near Ventura’s car window, a tractor trailer rig hit the back of Ventura’s car, and then struck Whatley. He sustained fatal injuries, and died at the scene of the crash. Ventura was not injured. The San Antonio police cited speed and driver inattention as the reasons for the tractor trailer crashing into the car.
Trucking groups will tell you that the number of fatalities in truck accidents across the country has actually dropped in the past few years. According to the American Trucking Associations, there has been a sharp drop in truck accident fatality rates since the current trucking hour rules took effect. According to Department of Transportation figures, truck accident fatly rates in 2008 dropped to 1.86 per 100 million miles from 2.12 per 100 million miles in 2007. That was a drop of 12.3 percent, and according to the ATA, marks the largest annual drop in fatality rates.
That information is being used by trucking groups to encourage retaining the current hours of service rules for truckers. However, when you consider the fact that an overwhelming majority of truck accidents in Texas and nationwide involve fatalities or serious injuries, you understand that a decline in fatality rates may not really mean much. The truck safety ratio is skewed overwhelmingly in favor of truckers, with the occupants of the smaller vehicle at serious risk of injuries or death.
Meanwhile, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently revising the 11-hour rules for truckers. The agency held one more public listening session in the state of Iowa on the 25th of January. The sessions were held to invite participation from traffic truck owners, carriers, operators, safety groups, truckers and others who have an interest in truck safety.
The Texas truck accident lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent injured victims of truck, tractor trailer and 18 wheeler accidents in and around the state of Texas. Please contact our experienced Texas Trucking Accident Lawyers at (713) 364-0723 or e-mail us at [email protected] for a free evaluation of your big rig accident case.