The latest roadway statistics were just released. They are not good.
Texans experienced a startling 10 percent increase in traffic fatalities from the year before.
Since 2010, the toll has shot up a whopping 34 percent.
It’s possible that our highways could be safer.
As this chart shows, from 2003 to 2010 the annual Texas traffic fatality rate decreased from 3,371 to 2,781.
Then the trend reversed and the number shot up to 3,720.
What’s driving this incredible increase?
Texas population is close to 29 million people but just eight years ago we had only 25 million. More people and more people equal more car accidents.
However our growing population doesn’t explain everything. The Insurance Council of Texas point its finger at the usual suspects: alcohol, speeding and distracted driving.
Since the first iPhone was sold in late 2007, the driving world has changed for the worse. Too many drivers focus more on their phones than on the road. Drivers are also distracted by increasingly sophisticated dashboards with GPS.
Distracted driving is cited as a factor in 20 percent of Texas traffic crashes. The latest statistics from the TxDOT reflect how bad this problem is. In 2016, this was responsible for 109,658 traffic accidents that seriously injured more than 3,000 people and killed 455 people. Hopefully the new Texas law banning this will make a dent.
Impairment by drugs or alcohol contributed to more than 25,500 Texas accidents that killed 987 people in 2016. Dallas County had the second highest number of DWI crashes in the state and Tarrant County came in at number five.
Then there are speed demons. Driving too fast was a factor in more than 26,300 car accidents which resulted in 756 deaths in Texas in 2016.
Is it just us here in Texas?
Traffic dipped slightly nationwide in 2017. But this is hardly good news.
The number of deaths dropped a measly one percent in from 2016 to 2017 but increased by six percent from 2015.
The National Safety Council released a statement that said: “The only acceptable number is zero; we need to mobilize a full-court press to improve roadway safety.” I agree.
By eliminating drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding, we can get pretty close to zero traffic deaths.
Distractions lead to the loss of about 3,500 lives and cause around 391,000 injuries each year.
Drunk driving is the leading cause of traffic death. This 100 percent preventable factor claims about 10,500 lives each year and causes approximately 290,000 injuries nationwide .
Speeding was a factor in more than one-quarter of crashes. This represents a decline of close to one-third just 10 years ago. Are people speeding less? Unlikely. The decline in speeding-related deaths may have to do with greater seat belt use, better vehicle safety features, and safer roads.
What do these harrowing statistics mean to you?
It’s dangerous out there! Reduce your chances of being in a car wreck by putting your phone away, staying within the speed limit, and avoiding the roads during peak drunk driving hours of 10 p.m. to 3 a..m. Driving defensively is also important, so you can react successfully to other drivers’ mistakes.
However even the most careful drivers cannot always avoid the negligence of others. If you were injured in a car crash, Berenson Injury Law offers a free claims evaluation.
While investigating your case, I will assess the other driver’s negligence and compile crucial evidence to help win you the maximum possible damages.