19 Straight Years of Daily Roadway Deaths in Texas
Texas has long been above the national average in traffic deaths per capita; second only to Florida. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, almost 67,000 people were killed – and tens of thousands more injured – on Texas roads; just in the last 19 years. Sadly, 2019 marks Texas‘ 19th straight year of daily roadway deaths, and this unfortunately includes children who have been hit in front of their homes and left incapacitated. November 7, 2000 was the state’s last day with no fatal crashes, and an average of 10 people die in crashes every day, or 250 per month.
In cities such as Austin, speeding–followed by driving under the influence and distracted driving–are the top reasons for fatal crashes. However, the problem isn’t only driver behavior: The state also needs to take steps to improve road safety in Texas, as serious questions remain as to whether it is doing everything it can to prevent these deaths. According to the Texas Transportation Commission, 90 percent of them are preventable.
What’s Causing This?
The number of people killed while biking or walking has increased by 40 percent in Texas. Some hypothesize this has to do with Texas’ obsession with reducing congestion, where engineers are expected to increase the speed of travel and the number of cars on the road, while not necessarily prioritizing safety. The most frequent cause of fatal crashes in Texas are the following behaviors, in order:
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to stay in one’s lane
- Other factors, such as distractions, texting, etc.
More than half of all the state’s traffic fatalities occur in rural areas, even though a majority of crashes occur in heavily congested cities. Drivers tend to engage in the same behaviors they do on the freeway, but at higher speeds; in single lanes; going in two directions; without any shoulders.
However, a significant number of traffic deaths also occur in energy-producing areas—thousands seriously injured in crashes where gas and oil exploration is underway, such as Barnett Shale, Granite Wash, Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin, and Haynesville/Bossier Shale.
In addition, many attribute an increase in pedestrian fatalities to an increase in the number of heavy pickup trucks and SUVs on the roads, which are involved in more fatal crashes and are deadlier because they weigh more.
Contact Our Texas Accident & Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed on the road, contact our Houston wrongful death attorneys at The West Law Office to find out how we can help ensure that you are on the road to recovery. We are here to ensure that you and your family are taken care of and receive the compensation you need.