Harris County Has Most Commercial Vehicle Accidents Statewide
Data from the Department of Transportation reports that of all the counties across the state of Texas, Harris County has experienced the most commercial motor vehicle accidents for the past five years. As the end of 2022 approaches, experts believe it will maintain its title.
What is a Commercial Motor Vehicle?
A commercial motor vehicle is defined by federal code as a vehicle that either 1) has a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more, 2) is used to transport more than 8 passengers for compensation, 3) is used to transport more than 15 passengers not for compensation, or 4) is used to transport hazardous material.
According to this definition, a wide variety of vehicles fall under that categorization. 18-wheelers, box trucks, passenger vans, delivery trucks, moving vans, busses, minibuses, shuttles, motor coaches, tow trucks, and even pickup trucks used for commercial purposes.
Due to the size and weight of commercial motor vehicles, commercial motor vehicle accidents are serious, and often deadly. Additionally, the freight being transported can add an additional layer of danger if the commercial motor vehicle is carrying hazardous materials.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Accidents on the Rise in Harris County
The Texas Department of Transportation defines commercial vehicle accidents as accidents that involve a commercial motor vehicle and result in death, injury, or at least $1,000 in damage. Their data reports that for the last five years, Harris County has seen the highest number of accidents involving commercial motor vehicles statewide.
In 2017, there were 35,697 commercial motor vehicle accidents, with 5,884 of those accidents occurring in Harris County. In 2018, there were 37,647 commercial motor vehicle accidents in Texas, 5,839 of which were in Harris County. In 2019, there were 39,255 commercial motor vehicle accidents across the state of Texas. Harris County saw the highest number of accidents, with a reported 6,416.
In 2020, accidents across the country lowered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though Harris County kept its top spot; Texas saw 32,562 commercial motor vehicle accidents, and Harris County reported 4,915. In 2021, commercial motor vehicle accidents went back to pre-pandemic levels, with 38,149 commercial motor vehicle accidents across the state and 5,743 in Harris County.
So far, there have been approximately 4,200 commercial motor vehicle accidents in Harris County in 2022. If truck accidents in Harris County continue at their current pace, the county will have seen 7,000 accidents involving commercial motor vehicles by the end of the year—even more than pre-pandemic levels.
Harris County Commercial Motor Vehicle Accident Hotspots
I-10 was reported to be the most dangerous freeway in Harris County, with a reported 3,537 commercial motor vehicle accidents occurring on Houston’s stretch of the highway since 2017. The second deadliest spot is the Beltway 8, which saw 3,186 commercial motor vehicle accidents in the last five years. The interchange of Beltway 8 and I-10 in Spring Branch alone saw 101 commercial motor vehicle wrecks in the last five years.
In addition to having the highest rate of commercial motor vehicle accidents, Harris County truck accidents also have high rates of injury. The rate of injury for Houston commercial motor vehicle accidents is about 40%, meaning that 4 in 10 crashes result in either a driver, passenger, or passerby suffering an injury as a result of the crash.
However, the injury rate highly varies on the area of the county that the commercial motor vehicle accident occurred in. Beltway 8 commercial motor vehicle accidents have a 25% injury rate, while some smaller roads like FM 525 and FM 521 reported injury rates of 50%.
What to Do if You were in a Truck Accident in Harris County
If you are in an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle in Harris County, contact the police. Local authorities will show up at the scene of the collision and gather information about the specifics of the crash, such as the parties involved, the road conditions, and the events that unfolded. After you are able to safely leave the scene, visit your doctor to evaluate any potential injuries. Then, contact our Houston Truck Accident Lawyers today to learn more about your legal options. We have been successfully representing injured people and their families, and we will fight for you too. Call 713-224-9000, or fill out our contact form here.
Michael S Callahan is an attorney and founder of The Callahan Law Firm. He focuses his practice on representing individuals and families in personal injury cases involving motor vehicle and truck accidents, workplace accidents and defective products. With over 25 years of experience, he is dedicated to fighting on behalf of people whose lives have been forever altered by the negligence and carelessness of corporations and individuals. Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, Michael has been practicing law and fighting for justice for those who need it most since 1994. He is board-certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a member of various esteemed legal associations. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending quality time with his family, outdoor activities, and continually striving to improve as a trial lawyer and human being.