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Brooks Schuelke
Brooks Schuelke
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More Austin Trucking Accident Dangers

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It is no secret that trucking traffic and trucking accidents are a major problem in Austin and Central Texas. Interstate 35 is routinely one of the most heavily traveled stretches of highway in the country.

A large part of that has to do with NAFTA and international trade with Mexico. The Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M has provided quite a bit of information on Texas trucking traffic. According to TTI, in 1995, 739,800 trucks entered Texas by border crossing. By 1999, that number was up to approximately 2,300,000, and that number continues to increase. By TTI’s estimate, truck tonnage will double over the next twenty years. Overall, US-Mexico truck trade value over Texas highways represents a stunning 10% of the value of all US international trade (amazing when you consider all the port trade on the east and west coasts).

And Austin and Central Texas continue to be a major route for the trucking traffic. In 2003, more than 2,500 trucks per week traveled through Austin with NAFTA trade. But by 2020, it’s estimated that number could increase to 7,500 to 15,000 trucks per week traveling I35 through Central Texas.

Given all that, one would expect that the state would be doing everything it can to protect the state’s roadways from unsafe trucking. But we aren’t. Last night, Austin news station KXAN ran an enlightening story entitled “Dodging the Scales” that describes truckers’ efforts to avoid weigh and inspection stations. Unfortunately, the Texas Motor Transportation Association is opposing legislation that could close these loopholes, and other organizations have started popping up to try and make the problem worse.

What’s the lesson in all this? Be careful out there.

And these numbers are nice, but you can really get a sense of the sometimes aggressive truck driving by watching the following You Tube video of a truck driver driving I35 near Austin: