It’s way too dangerous to drive. There are over 80,000 car accidents each year here in Dallas and Tarrant Counties.
But ironically the very safety devices you count on to protect you if you are in a car wreck can be lethal.
A whopping 42 million vehicles in the United States and 100 million around the world have had to be recalled due to deadly problems with the Takata airbags.
There are still over 60,000 of these dangerous cars, trucks, and SUVs on American roads.
Are you driving one of these so-called “time bombs?”
Jewel Brangman unfortunately was. The 26-year old rear-ended a minivan while driving a Honda rental car in California. Although the impact was minimal, the airbag exploded and Ms. Brangman tragically bled to death from a neck artery severed by metal shards.
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 happened? Continue reading
Based on our first week, unfortunately no.
After an extremely dangerous New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day caused by icy roads and the drunks driving on them, the first week in North Texas started on a sad note with four people dying in car accidents Six people tragically were killed here since that time.
And on Friday police announced the cause of the crash that killed former Dallas Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn in Irving several months ago.
The causes of this weekend’s fatal Dallas-Fort Worth auto accidents were the usual suspects:
- Rear-end collision at intersection. A mother and her seven year-old daughter were killed when their passenger van was struck from behind while making a left turn. The driver of the pickup truck that rear-ended the van claimed not to have seen the vehicle at the Johnson County intersection. In other words, he wasn’t paying attention.
- Drunk driver heading wrong way. A wrong-way driver on Texas 121 in Grapevine killed a Fort Worth man when he crashed head-on into his vehicle. The wrong-way driver was drunk at the time, and he survived with only minor injuries, of course. He’s been charged with intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle and intoxication assault with a vehicle.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released its highly anticipated 2016 crash report this week. The results are very discouraging.
More people died in traffic crashes last year than in any year in the past decade.
And what’s more, there were increases in every means of transit. Death rates increased for those driving cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicycles.
Overall traffic deaths increased by almost 2,000 people — an enormous 5.6 rate of increase from 2015. Since 2008, traffic fatalities had been on a downward trajectory but began to climb in 2012. We’ve now surpassed the 2008 numbers with no apparent end in sight.
I’ve been riding my bicycle long distances to stay in shape as I turn 63 next month (yikes!) and this picture of a “ghost bike” memorializing the death of a cyclist is especially disturbing to me.
Did you know that almost 4,000 people died in auto accidents in Texas in 2016? And that this was a huge increase of 5 1/2 percent just over the previous year?
Who ever talks about Texas having such a startling number of serious injuries each year —close to 20,000 in 2016? Those people would fill up the AAC Arena in Dallas, to put that number in perspective.
Texas roads are way too dangerous. But they shouldn’t be.
I am always amazed at how easy making driving safe could be. If we could make people not drink and/or take drugs, pay attention to the road, put down their cell phones, slow down, not suddenly change lanes or tail gate, and be cautious, we would all be a lot safer.
Most “car accidents” could be avoided if drivers took this life-and-death task more seriously.
Every day there are more and more crashes reported in our local news. We take them for granted. We shouldn’t.
But take a look at these local stories in just the last few days:
Mayhem on Dallas Fort Worth highways continues
On Friday night a man was driving while intoxicated as he sped down Interstate 30 in Grand Prairie at speeds of over 100 MPH. The drunk driver lost control of his Honda Civic and crashed into a light pole. The impact killed his 29-year-old girlfriend and his two children, who were only four and three years old. Adding to the horror, the driver had recently been convicted of DWI and been arrested on other charges and his children were not restrained in their required child seats.
Then on Saturday night a driver lost control of the vehicle on the I-20 ramp to Loop 820 in Southeast Fort Worth. During the roll-over accident another 4 year-old girl died after being ejected. It is not clear how fast the driver was going or how the child was thrown out of the car. But you can guess that alcohol was probably involved here too.
My condolences go out to the families of these young victims.
Good news: for years teenage traffic fatalities declined in Texas. From 2005 to 2014, the number of teen deaths dropped by 51 percent. Texas’s graduated licensing program, education, and safer cars seemed to be making a positive impact.
Bad news: in 2015 things took a turn for the worse when teen deaths unfortunately spiked by 9 percent. And based on what I’ve seen in my practice as an injury lawyer, I’m not optimistic about the release of the 2016 statistics.
How can we stop this from happening? And what can you do if you crashed into by a teenage driver?
Teens: drunk driving and speeding are nothing to brag about
Last week’s horrific YouTube video of an 18 year-old driving drunk and killing her younger sister and a Snapchat video which recorded a woman partying in the days before she was killed in a drunk driving crash have gone viral.
These videos ended tragically, but others in which drunk and speeding teen drivers miraculously survive continue to pop up on social media and actually be liked by peers and followers. The teens enjoy a few moments of minor fame for their risky escapade, which may be encouraging others to follow suit.
Alcohol causes a variety of symptoms that make driving extraordinarily dangerous. Thanks to driver’s education and wonderful organizations like MADD, all drivers know this — or should. But one of the biggest dangers is a drunk driver’s inability to quickly react to problems on the road.
That’s what happened last week after 20 year-old Mikayla Prince lost control of her Mitsubishi on I-635 and hit a guardrail. She and her friend got out of the car and stood on the side of the highway. A good Samaritan, James Fofanah, stopped to help. Moments later, 23-year-old Ashlynn Hurley plowed into the accident scene and tragically killed Ms. Prince and Mr. Fofanah. Hurley’s Toyota caught on fire but she escaped with minor injuries. Hurley was arrested for DWI.
Had Hurley not been intoxicated, she would have the mental faculties to see the car crash sooner.
This is why we must support Mothers Against Drunk Drivers so these horrendous crashes stop. According to MADD, each day 27 people are killed in a drunk driving crash and hundreds suffer injuries, with one-third of the drunks being repeat offenders. And Texans spend over $6 billion every year due to drunk driving collisions.
How To File A Wrongful Death Claim In Auto Crash In Texas
In less than eight hours Thursday night – Friday morning, DFW highways were shut down due to these tragic car wrecks:
10:30 p.m. in Grand Prairie – car driven by a young man cut off 63-year-old woman on Carrier Parkway and causes her SUV to tumble down a hill;
3:30 a.m. in Garland – young woman crashed into a barrier wall on Interstate 635; second car driven by a young woman driving while intoxicated killed the first driver and a Good Samaritan; and
6:00 a.m. in Fort Worth – speeding car flipped over on Highway 287
Of course, no one thinks that a fatal car accident will ever affect them. But it happens more than you might think. Almost 3,800 people were killed in traffic accidents in Texas last year — almost an all-time record — with about 1,000 of those caused by a person driving while intoxicated. Our highways are far too dangerous.