04/29/2015 // 1-800 Car Wreck // (press release)
Many Houston drivers don’t consider the consequences of riding in vehicles that are filled with too many passengers. In fact, according to the Houston car wreck attorneys of the Eberstein Witherite LLP law firm, who have dealt with a number of vehicle accident cases related to overcrowding in Texas, most drivers don’t even seem to know what the passenger capacity limit of their vehicle is. However, transportation safety advocates warn that when a car, truck, or SUV is overcrowded, passengers are at risk of injury due to the impact the over capacity weight can have on vehicle safety. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) cited this risk in an article discussing road safety concerns for international travelers in particular who may be more prone to situations that can increase their risk of crash injury, The CDC cautioned travelers to “avoid overcrowded, overweight, or top-heavy buses or vans.”
Whether traveling domestically or abroad, noted risks linked to vehicle overcrowding include:
- Increased driver distractions
- Insufficient safety belts for all passengers if a vehicle is over passenger capacity
- An unequal distribution of weight for the vehicle which increases the chances it will rollover
- Too much weight may place excessive wear and tear on vehicle tires or other components and cause them to stop functioning properly
One headline making car accident that occurred near Houston, Texas helps illustrate an extreme case of the consequences that can occur when an overcrowded vehicle crashes. In the Texas car accident nearly two-dozen people were crammed into a pickup truck, and at least 14 of them were killed.
Source: KHOU Report “14 dead in South Texas pickup truck crash”
“GOLIAD, Texas – A pickup truck carrying nearly two dozen people crashed in South Texas late Sunday, killing at least 14 and injuring 9 others… Investigators said the Ford F-250 was headed northbound on Highway 59 when it smashed into two large trees. The impact of the crash was so severe, the truck s transmission separated from the rest of the vehicle.”
To read more, visit http://www.khou.com/story/news/2014/07/20/11777596/.
Following an investigation into the accident, authorities discovered the cause of the crash was the unraveling of a tire, which led the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Source: Fox News Latino Report “Truck Accident that Killed 14 Caused by Unraveling Tire, Investigators Say”
“McALLEN, Texas – The overcrowded pickup truck that slammed into a tree and killed 14 undocumented immigrants in Texas lost control because its right tire came apart, authorities said…Investigators said they were unsure if the tire unraveled because it was too old, or because of a manufacturing issue.”
Houston accident injury lawyer Roger A. Sullivan of the Eberstein Witherite, LLP law firm, says of this type of issue, “it is important that drivers and passengers do their part to protect themselves on the road. This includes not riding in or operating vehicles that are carrying too much added weight. Vehicles are designed to hold only a certain amount of weight and attempting to force more passengers into a vehicle than recommended can put multiple lives in jeopardy.”
Transportation safety advocates in Houston recommend that drivers learn what the passenger number and weight limits are before operating any vehicle to avoid the risk of being involved in a Houston car crash. If there are not enough safety belts for all riders individually, then it is not recommended that all be transported at once. Other safe driving tips include:
- Understand that SUVs have higher rollover risks than passenger vehicles, and seating arrangements and weight of items being transported may impact the level of car accident risk. Passengers should be seated and items loaded in such a manner that allows for an equal distribution of weight on these vehicles.
- Excessive room in the backs of trucks is not designed for the transport of people; therefore riders should be secured safely in the cab area before any commute.
- Parents and guardians of teen drivers should monitor the number of passengers riding with them to reduce incidents of overcrowding related car accidents.
More safety tips for Houston drivers can be found by visiting online resources like the websites of the CDC, DMV, and other entities that feature information related to transportation.
Eberstein Witherite LLP
Url: 1-800 Car Wreck Houston