Personal Injury

Houston Considers Restricting Truck Routes to Improve Roadway Safety

No trucks allowed square sign on metal post with stop sign.

Residential neighborhoods are not made for this much commercial use.

To improve roadway safety and quality of life, Houston could soon become the largest metro area in the nation to enact a broad truck route plan that limits where large trucks, vans, and tankers can go.

The proposed regulation would restrict large commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) – like big rigs, 18-wheelers, and semi-trucks – to main roads, banning them on many smaller streets. Deviating from the routes could lead to a fine of up to $500.

Currently, Houston allows “cut through” truck traffic. Until the last several years, residents tolerated the occasional truck. However, with increased demand and deliveries, more and more Houston residents are dealing with:

  • Speeding trucks.
  • Truckers attempting unsafe backup and turn maneuvers.
  • CMV mechanical failure or lack of maintenance resulting in dangerous malfunctions.
  • Having to drive into the oncoming lane to get around a truck.

The situation is getting out of hand: In September, a son and father narrowly escaped major injury when, for reasons unknown, a truck careened through a fence and into the dad’s Mayview Drive home around 9:30 p.m.

Houston’s truck route plan

Commercial truck accidents on residential roads happen for a variety of reasons, but infrastructure is a big one. Neighborhood streets are not designed for heavy vehicles. They have lower speed limits and features that prioritize safe movement between vehicles and non-motorists. They physically cannot support regular use by 26,000 lbs. vehicles, nor can they accommodate safe turns, backing up, or pulling over by large trucks.

Yet, over the last decade, commercial transportation and delivery have changed drastically, sending more trucks to more places unprepared to handle heavy equipment. The Houston truck route plan would redirect many large vehicles away from neighborhoods and busy city areas whenever possible. Large CMVs would be restricted by one of several truck route types:

  • Through truck routes. Vehicles in this category can only drive on interstates, state highways, toll roads, and in critical urban freight corridors and roadways.
  • Local truck routes. Large CMVs are restricted to the city’s major thoroughfares that provide the most direct routes to their destinations.
  • No-through-truck streets. These are road segments where trucks are not allowed to drive unless it is for access to local origins and destinations.

Truck route effectiveness will be tested with a pilot program in Settegast before the initiative is launched citywide.

Residential truck accidents result in serious injuries

Creating truck routes in Houston could save lives. Commercial truck accidents in residential areas tend to result in severe or fatal injuries, according to studies. Common injuries include:

  • Lost limbs.
  • Bone fractures.
  • Back and spinal cord injuries.
  • Internal bleeding.
  • Cuts and lacerations.
  • Brain injuries.
  • Burns.

Truck accident victims are entitled to compensation for their injuries. Likewise, the families of fatal truck accident victims deserve compensation for their loss. Getting a settlement that covers expenses and the impact on a victim's life, however, is often a challenge. Because truck accident injuries are so severe, no crash victim should risk taking a lowball settlement. A lawyer can help.

Trusted Texas truck accident attorneys

We applaud the truck route program and other policy steps that could help to prevent serious truck wrecks. But even with these safety changes and more, truck accidents in Houston will still happen as long as trucking companies put profits ahead of safety. Our lawyers stand up for families.

If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a Houston area truck accident, contact the Texas truck accident attorneys at Tracey Fox & Walters for a free case evaluation. We know how to pursue full and fair compensation in these cases. A member of our team is available to hear from you, answer your truck accident-related questions, and help you decide what to do next. There is no obligation to hire us, just answers about your rights.

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