Safety officials launch safety inspections to stop truck accidents in Wise County

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by Heygood Orr and Pearson

State and federal authorities have begun conducting mass inspections of rock haulers in Wise County, Texas due to the high number of deadly truck accidents that occur there each year. Despite its small population, the county ranks fourth in the state for fatalities involving truck accidents behind three of the most populous urban areas in Texas.

Many of these fatal truck crashes involve rock haulers that move materials from one of the 27 gravel pits and rock quarries in Wise County to construction sites in the Dallas-area. Because of the high volume of trucks passing through Bridgeport, Chico, Decatur, and other towns in the county, local officials often have a difficult time monitoring these vehicles to make sure that they are properly maintained and that their drivers obey safety regulations.

Many of the truck accidents that occur in Wise County are caused by vehicles which are improperly loaded or driven at excessive speeds. Because the drivers of rock haulers are paid by the load, there is an incentive for them to load as much material as possible onto their vehicles and to get them from the rock quarry to the construction site as quickly as possible—even if this means putting the lives of other drivers at risk.

Safety inspectors also say that the poor mechanical condition of many of these trucks can also lead to an accident. Recent safety inspections of rock haulers operating in Wise County ordered 40% of trucks off the road because of safety violations.

Drivers who were injured in a truck accident in Wise County may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the companies that operate these vehicles. Individuals or their loved ones who were the victim of a crash involving a rock hauler or other trucks that are operated in the Wise County area may wish to speak with a lawyer to find out if they may be eligible to file a case.