Last month, this blog discussed a seemingly encouraging trend: police officers in Dallas had written far fewer traffic tickets than the previous year — 37,000 fewer to be exact. Could it be due to a greater emphasis on careful driving, or could there be another reason? One observer thinks that it could be due to a much more worrisome trend: more drivers who get in accidents are fleeing the scene of the crime.
The observer noted that other data supplied by the Dallas Police Department shows that accidents within the city of Dallas alone have totaled 25,429 — a big jump over 2012, which had 23,803 crashes, or 2011, which had 23,343 crashes. Once drivers crash into a person or property, 21% of them flee the scene, up from 2012, when just 11% fled. So it may just be that fewer tickets are issued because drivers are getting better at evading police, whether after an accident or just after an instance of poor driving.
The observer also noted that a study this past July gave conflicting information about whether greater police presence would reduce the number of traffic violations. On the one hand, the study found that two days of “high intensity stationary presence” produced an immediate result of a 9% reduction in accident rates. On the other hand, the presence of moving police vehicles had the effect of increasing the accident rate by 8.6% per police vehicle on the road. In the latter case, drivers may be behaving badly in hopes of evading a police ticket.
In the meantime, accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists do not get the attention that they should. Advocates for both groups claim that most police in major cities view these collisions as just accidents, rather than a possible homicide, unless it is a hit-and-run or there is evidence of alcohol use. That is a concern because too many of these accidents come from simple inattentive or impatient driving. A driver needs to recognize and respect the rights of non-cars to share the roadway.
Those who are injured in car accidents have the option of filing a lawsuit against the one who caused it. He or she might argue that the other driver had a duty to obey the rules of the road, that the other driver breached that duty by driving carelessly (such as too fast, or while intoxicated), that the breach caused the injury, and that the injury resulted in personal or property damage. If you live in the Dallas or Fort Worth area and have been in a car accident, contact a Fort Worth car accident attorney to learn your rights today.
Bill Berenson has been representing Texans injured in accidents for more than 33 years. Located in Fort Worth and with offices throughout the Metroplex and in Houston, he only represents clients injured by accidents involving cars, trucks, 18 wheelers, bicycles and motorcycles. If you want an experienced Board Certified personal injury specialist who will provide you with compassionate legal representation, contact him today to schedule a free initial consultation.