I-69 in Houston is a relatively new – and old freeway. Previously I-69 in the Houston area was known as U.S. 59. The part now designated I-69 was the section of U.S. 59 within Loop 610. Essentially the new freeway is essentially constructed of old previously dedicated freeways. In the Houston area, work on I-69 is generally focused on improving existing areas of former U.S. 59.
However, I-69 has been a route in progress for decades. The road is known as the NAFTA Superhighway because it provides a link between Mexico and Canadian port cities while also linking an array of major U.S. cities. While some states have failed to take action regarding the construction or resignation of I-69, the state of Texas has made I-69’s construction a priority.
However, as a NAFTA Superhighway, it is no surprise that a significant amount of freight trucks carrying goods and products are traveling on the highway. While many of these trips are completed successfully, Houston is unfortunately a relative hotbed for commercial truck accidents. In 2013, more than 3382 commercial truck accidents were reported in the area. Unfortunately, when commercial truck accidents do occur, the large size and mass of the vehicles often mean that damage is significant.
I-69 Is A Heavily Traveled Route in Houston, Texas, and Beyond
I-69 passes through a number of east Texas counties including Shelby, Rusk, Nacogdoches, Angelina, Polk, San Jacinto, Liberty, Montgomery, Harris, Fort Bend, Wharton, Jackson, and Victoria. In the Houston area, I-69 serves as a major thoroughfare in and around the city allowing commuters and freight traffic to travel from Sugarland in the Southwest of the city to Humble in the north. Essentially, former U.S. 59, now I-60 serves as the backbone and main transportation artery for southwest Houston and many of its destinations.
In the Houston area, I-69 provides access to an array of destinations and other connecting roads. The highway provides access to I-610 and the IAH Hobby Airport. The road also provides access to I-45 and the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The road also provides travels with access to I-10 also known as U.S. 90 along with many other downtown Houston destinations like the St. Joseph’s medical Center. Still within Harris County, the road also provides access to the Westpark Tollway, Belt 8 (Frontage Road), and to the Sam Houston Tollway.
Why Can Serious Truck Accidents Occur on the Freeway?
The reasons why accidents involving commercial trucks on any freeway are numerous, but on I-69 in the Houston area these accidents can probably be attributed to the significant variation in types of vehicle traffic. The road is used heavily by both interstate truck traffic and by local commuters. Furthermore, the congestion and traffic conditions present on the roadway can also contribute to the significantly higher than average number of accidents on the road.
There are many other reasons why commercial truck accidents become unavoidable. These reasons can include:
- Changing traffic conditions – Stop-and-go traffic is difficult to drive in and the changing conditions require extreme alertness. Drivers who fail to maintain a high level of concentration are likely to cause a commercial vehicle accident.
- Poor weather conditions – Heavy rainfall and other severe storms can adversely affect driving conditions. Poor weather can increase stopping distances and decrease visibility and the time a driver has to react.
- Fatigued truck driver – Hours of service rules imposed by FMCSA limit the amount of time a truck driver can be on duty consecutively and sets other limits on his or her ability to drive. These limits are set because fatigued driving can reduce reaction times and lead to poor decision-making.
- Intoxicated driving – Alcohol, illegal drugs, and some prescription drugs can also lead to increased reaction times and poor decision-making. Driving under the influence significantly increases accident risk for all drivers.
- Inexperienced CDL driver — While training and behind the wheel experience is required for CDL drivers, operators who are new to the profession may still lack the confidence and poise to react appropriately in difficult situations or may misjudge the circumstances.
- Improper maintenance – A freight truck with mechanical issues, steering problems, or worn-down tires significantly increases the risk of a loss of vehicle control and an accident.
In many accidents, more than one factor combines to cause the wreck. The list above only covers some of the more common factors associated with serious vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, when these accidents do occur, they often cause serious injuries including broken bones, TBIs, and fatal injuries.
Commercial Truck Accident Injury Lawyers May Be Able to Fight For You
If you’ve suffered severe injuries or the death of a loved one in an accident with a large truck, bus, or other commercial vehicle the lawyers of Reiff & Bily’s The Truck Accident Team may be able to fight for you. To schedule a free and confidential legal consultation call call 800-896-6173 or contact us online today.