On Friday, April 22, at about 11:10 a.m., an 18-wheeler driver allegedly failed to maintain proper speed and crashed a lumber truck into four vehicles on Texas 105 not far from South Walker Road. Two of the crash victims were pronounced dead at the scene. A third victim was taken to Conroe Regional Medical Facility and died at the hospital. A child was critically injured in the crash and was flown to Herman Memorial Downtown; there have been no further updates on the child’s condition. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the 38-year-old 18-wheeler driver was arrested on one charge of intoxication assault and three charges of intoxication manslaughter.
Since it is extremely dangerous for anyone to drive while intoxicated, the danger is multiplied if the intoxicated person is behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle. In a three-year study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to determine causes of large truck collisions, it is truly frightening to learn what was revealed about 18-wheeler drivers. According to the research:
- In 55% of the cases, trucks were assigned the critical cause of the crash.
- Of all truck-related reasons for crashes, 87% of them involved the driver, and most were poor driving decisions or failure to correctly evaluate the situation.
- The truck, roadway problems, and weather conditions accounted for 13% of the reasons for crashes with large trucks.
- The most common vehicle factor was brake problems.
- Prevalent roadway problems were traffic flow interruption and requirements that the driver stop before the collision.
The most common driver factors included:
- Legal drug use
- Traveling too fast for existing conditions
- Unfamiliarity with the roadways
- Feeling under pressure from motor carriers
- Inadequate surveillance
Learn more about 18-wheelers and drunk driving in Part 1 of this two-part series.