Texas is known for long stretches of highways and countryside – and the highest number of fatalities caused by 18-wheelers in the country. The state has made progress reducing the number of accidents involving 18-wheelers in recent years, but new legislation could mean that progress may come to a screeching halt. A new Texas house bill (along with a similar bill in the state senate) could leave drivers less protected than ever.
The bills, house bill 19 and senate bill 207, protect companies that own commercial vehicles from fault for crashes on the road. This means that Texans would be limited with the damages they could claim against these companies if they are in an accident with one of their vehicles.
One of the biggest concerns if the bills pass is that private corporations would disregard state and federal laws that keep other motorists safe, like keeping up with driver training and vehicle maintenance.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there are thousands of 18-wheeler crashes every year. Many blame this on commercial driving companies putting pressure on their drivers, leaving them exhausted, poorly managed, and more likely to crash on the road.
In recent years, however, awareness about the issue and campaigns for more comprehensive driving regulations have done a great deal to solve the problem. In 2021 alone, the rate of fatal collisions involving eighteen wheelers dropped 20%. While this was a great sign, the fight for road safety is far from over. And passing these bills could mean a step backward.
Unfortunately, it’s not profitable to spend more money on safety, vehicle maintenance, and instruction. This makes it critical to be aware of your rights and necessary precautions as a driver, especially in the state that consistently ranks first in the nation for truck crashes.
If these bills are passed, the 18-wheeler crisis will only get more dangerous. Texans have worked hard to make our roads safer in recent years, and it’s our responsibility to uphold their progress. We need to keep companies accountable for their driving.
To read more about these bills or sign the petition to oppose them visit the website KeepTexasSafe.com
DeSouza Law Firm is a leading personal injury firm representing accident victims throughout Texas.
If you’ve been injured by a car, truck, 18-wheeler, company vehicle, or in the oilfield, call DeSouza Injury Lawyers today at 361-799-2222 or visit the firm online at https://jfdlawfirm.com/.