Transportation

Houston Drivers Are Urged To Be Cautious As Truck Traffic Grows

A fatal crash Thursday morning involving a car and an 18-wheeler highlights the increasing amount of truck traffic. We talked to an expert about why we’re seeing so many big rigs on local thoroughfares and freeways

An 18-wheeler leaves the Port of Houston.

Houston police are still investigating that collision at Almeda Road at Reed. They believe it happened after a car drifted into oncoming lanes and collided with the 18-wheeler.

There have also been recent freeway crashes involving trucks that have snarled traffic for hours.

Rebecca Brewster is President of the American Transportation Research Institute, an organization that studies the effects of 18-wheeler traffic. She says cities like Houston are seeing many more trucks on the road partly as a result of ecommerce. People are ordering things online and that means more deliveries.

“It sort of has re-shifted where some of the traffic is,” said Brewster. “As we all have expectations that we order something in the morning and we want it in the afternoon.”

And as the region’s population grows, Houston could see a lot more trucks in the future. Brewster said that’s all the more reason for people in cars to be vigilant.

“The truck has blind spots,” explained Brewster. “And if you sit back in the back corner of that truck, that truck driver may not be able to see in their rear-view mirrors.”

Brewster also reminds drivers that many crashes happen when vehicles cut in front of big trucks and don’t give them enough room to reduce their speed.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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