Truck crashes are often much more dangerous for drivers than other kinds of accidents. A major factor in this is the extreme weight of the trucks on our roads. Under New Mexico state regulations, a truck can weigh up to 86,000 pounds fully loaded.
With that amount of freight, and possibly more if the driver or their employers have overloaded the vehicle, a tractor-trailer can easily become unbalanced. If improperly loaded or operated by an inexperienced driver, a truck might veer into another lane and cause catastrophic crashes. A heavy truck also needs much more time and distance to stop than a lightweight car.
Distracted driving is another common cause of truck accidents. Truckers should never use cellular or other digital devices while driving. Driving while tired or impaired results in similar dangers. There are federal limitations to the hours truckers can drive, but many stretch them or break them altogether. All of these kinds of driving can be considered negligence and result in liability for the trucker and their employers when a crash results.
Fatality statistics show just how much more dangerous crashes are for drivers who are hit by trucks instead of other cars. According to the National Safety Council, 39,404 people died in crashes in a single recent year. That includes all kinds of vehicles, including trucks. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, some 4,136 of those fatalities were the result of large truck crashes. The overwhelming majority of the victims were occupants in smaller vehicles, unprotected pedestrians, or bicyclists.
Both local and national outlets have reported on the huge oil and gas boom in New Mexico. Many New Mexicans have eagerly filled new jobs. While fracking has brought needed work and money to the state, it has also brought attendant pollution, crowding, and truck crashes.
According to the Carlsbad Argus, Eddy County officials are dealing with deteriorating roads. Heavy traffic, including from oil and gas fields, has caused damage to the roads themselves, as well as crashes. Southeast New Mexico has suffered the most, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The New Mexico Oil and Gas Association reports that there are plans for improvements to the roads in the works.