Between 2011 and 2015, Midland County was the location of 72 fatalities in accidents involving trucks and other large commercial vehicles.

Most Texas residents accept perhaps all too readily that motor vehicle accidents are a part of life. Certainly it may be lofty to think that the world could be completely free of collisions but it is not unreasonable to believe that some improvements in safety could and should be made.

When it comes to accidents in which commercial vehicles like semi trucks are involved, there are many government rules and regulations that are supposed to help keep people safe including the truck drivers as well as persons in other vehicles, on foot or on bicycles. How effective these regulations are may be debatable in some people's eyes.

How many people die in truck accidents?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, large truck fatalities increased substantially across the U.S. between 2009 and 2013. In Texas, there is a big difference seen between 2011 when 432 people were killed in truck crashes and 2015 when 561 people lost their lives in these wrecks according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

How serious is the problem in western Texas?

In looking at NHTSA records for Midland County and its eight immediate neighboring counties, a total of 242 fatalities resulted from large truck accidents in the five years spanning 2011 to 2015. Of those 242 fatalities, 72 occurred in Midland County. Only Ector County experienced more fatalities with 94.

In Andrews County, there were 26 truck deaths while in Howard and Martin Counties 20 and 16 people perished in large truck crashes, respectively. The remaining 14 fatalities happened collectively in Glasscock, Reagan, Upton and Crane counties.

What are some factors in these crashes?

According to a report by KHOU.com, driver fatigue may be an issue but some believe that electronic logging systems are making a positive impact there. What could be a lingering safety issue is the lack of proper pre-trip inspections.

An inspector with the Department of Public Safety indicates that at one weigh station in San Antonio, trucks are not only weighed but randomly selected for safety inspections. On average, two or three rigs per day are pulled from the road due to some safety violation or problem such as faulty brakes. That amounts to almost 10 percent of all trucks that pass through that one weigh station alone.

What should Texas residents do if a truck accident happens?

There can be many complexities involved in working with commercial trucking companies and their insurers. For this reason, people in Texas who have been involved in a collision with a commercial truck should always work with an attorney who is well versed in handling these types of claims.