As of December 2019, it had been nearly two decades since Texas had gone a single day without a traffic fatality in a car accident or other type of crash. There have been updated statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) since then, but sadly, this streak of daily traffic deaths has continued.
There were 3,896 traffic fatalities on Texas roads in 2020, an increase of 7.54% from the 3,623 traffic deaths in 2019.
It was bad news for the state, which in 2019 adopted Vision Zero with the goal of cutting traffic deaths in half by 2035 and ending them completely by 2050. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) had voted to spend $600 million on various projects aimed at reducing traffic fatalities.
'Not heading in the right direction'
Other Texas traffic fatality statistics from 2020:
- One person was killed every 2 hours and 15 minutes.
- 1,988 traffic deaths occurred in rural traffic areas, accounting for 51.03% of all traffic fatalities.
- 1,354 deaths occurred in single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes, accounting for 34.75% of all traffic deaths.
- 865 people were killed in crashes that occurred in intersections or related to an intersection.
- 538 people were killed in head-on crashes.
- October was the deadliest month – 382 people were killed in traffic crashes.
- 958 people were killed in crashes where a driver was under the influence of alcohol.
The first half of 2021 has not been promising, either. As of the end of July, the state was averaging 10.7 fatalities per day.
It’s a number Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan described as troubling.
“This is the first time I’ve seen multiple days in one month at 10.7 and continue to climb,” she said. “We’re not heading in the right direction and I say that to bring awareness, not to state that we’re not doing anything to continue to prevent it.”
Ryan said that to date, $400 million had already been committed to specific Vision Zero projects.
Negligence leads to traffic fatalities
What’s behind the number of traffic fatalities in Texas? Experts identified three big factors:
- Speeding – When drivers exceed the posted limit, they are driving too fast for road conditions. That makes it less likely they can bring their vehicle to a complete stop in time to prevent a crash.
- Buckling up – In 2020, 46.54% of traffic fatality victims were reported as not being restrained. Seatbelts save lives.
- Distracted driving – In 2020, 368 people were killed in accidents involving distracted driving. Examples of distracted driving include texting, talking on the phone, and adjusting dashboard controls – any activity that takes the driver’s eyes off the road.
Losing a loved one in an accident can be devastating for families, both emotionally and financially. Negligent drivers often deny doing anything wrong. Dealing with insurance companies can be confusing and frustrating. That’s why it’s important to have experienced legal representation.
Attorney Jeff Weinstein fights for the families of lost loved ones and people injured in crashes in Athens and throughout East Texas. He guides clients through the legal process every step of the way and is committed to helping them get justice.
Learn more about how Jeff Weinstein can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.