For the past twenty years, the state of Texas has yearned for a single day, just one day, without a traffic accident fatality, and for the past twenty years, this wish has never come to materialize. Experts and commoners alike are shaken by the vehemence and frequent nature of motor vehicle crashes in Texas and in the United States as a whole.
Statistical reports have shown consistently that the roads of Texas are unsafe for car drivers as the accident risk escalates with all crash types every year and a huge proportion of these automobile crashes turn out to be fatal.
Vehicle crash deaths number in the thousands for yearly records.
However, even more disturbing is the revelation that the stats and numbers have consistently gone up, year after year.
This article will cover the statistical analysis of traffic accidents in Texas, explain what these numbers mean, and share with you how an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you claim your rightful compensation if do get involved in such a crash.
Are The Roads Of Texas Dangerous?
Yes, a lot.
Experts have been worried sick about the rising accident statistics which don’t seem to slow down (and this is even though many accident cases go unreported, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). While the Vision Zero for 2050 aims to eliminate fatal crashes by that year, for now, things are nowhere even close to this target.
Thousands of accidents are recorded every year on the roads of Texas, for instance, this number was 37,133 in 2017. Based on these numbers, experts have commented that an accident happens every 71 seconds in Texas, and every 2.5 hours, someone passes away from one of these crashes.
The instances of severe injuries repeat themselves every two minutes.
Thus to conclude that the roads of Texas are not safe would be an understatement.
Despite the reduction in traffic density due to COVID restrictions, the number of accidents did not fall as sharply as predicted.
And we can also assume that as the traffic density continues to increase, there will be more and more instances of car crashes in the future.
If you’ve been in an automobile crash or lost a loved one to such an event (wrongful death claim), seek legal representation from talented personal injury lawyers immediately and get started with seeking fair compensation.
Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics
While drivers from all age groups are part of accidents, a huge proportion of automobile accident fatalities were those of teenage drivers, 16-19 years old. They are more likely to be pulled into car accidents despite there not being as many teenage drivers as adult ones.
According to Texas car accident statistics, older people are also more likely to be involved in wrecks than the baseline (statistically) middle-aged individuals, however, their share of accidents is less than that of teenagers. Poor visibility and compromised nervous receptors have been reported as primary reasons here. To check the growing crash rates, the state of Texas, alongside many other fellow states, now requires drivers of ages 85 and beyond to have regular license renewals and have their motor skills tested at each renewal to keep the roads safe.
For the most part, fatal car accidents concern the middle-aged group in urban areas rather than rural roads, and there have been many motor vehicle fatalities in this regard as well. Even the type of crashes that involved a slight error in judgment rather than deliberate negligence (such as in distracted driving crashes involving truck drivers) contribute to this crash death rate, meaning that error also contributes to the percent of crashes leading to deaths.
Let’s take a look at some shocking year-wise stats for serious accident cases and vehicle crash deaths for Texas (excluding a major percent of accidents that go unreported, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration):
Motor Vehicle Crash Stats For 2016
The number of serious automobile crashes for 2016 was a whopping 14,195, and the instances of motor vehicle deaths reached 3,794 when summing up results from all counties of Texas (for drivers, motorcyclists, passenger vehicle occupants, etc.)
The instances for fatal crashes, as you may have noticed, are much higher than what one might expect from a place like Texas, and yet here we are.
To reiterate a fact already shared with you: there has been not even a single day for the past 20 years in Texas in which there wasn’t a single crash fatality. Of course, the authorities are working tirelessly on future plans to make the streets safer than they are at the moment but things are not likely to change anytime sooner.
These numbers for 2016 motor vehicle accidents in Texas will explain why that is the case:
- 1,743 accidents involved passenger cars
- 1,326 accidents involved pickup trucks
- 1.012 SUV accidents
- 420 motorcycle riders got pulled into accidents (and note that most of the motorcyclists don’t wear helmets as it is not legally required after a certain age, and this has led to several motorcyclist deaths)
- 452 accidents involved tractor-trailers/semi-trucks
- 124 vans and 140 trucks were also involved in traffic accidents
As it is evident by the numbers mentioned above, all forms of vehicles have been a part of traffic crashes throughout Texas. The numbers have only gone up, which is a horrifying but inevitable change, despite many not being recorded, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As the streets become more and more crowded, and the score for vehicle miles goes up, so do the instances of accidents.
Ironically, the statistics for fatal car accidents and vehicle occupant fatalities during the pandemic, when the streets were not as jam-packed with tons of vehicles and angry drivers, did not fall as expected..
Back in 2016, the instances of vehicle crash deaths of teenagers (according to one estimate) was well over 2,400, and most of them probably did not have any insurance coverage (in case they caused the accident, thus creating a problem for the other party who may also have suffered from the wrongful death of a loved one).
Motor Vehicle Crash Stats For 2018
Two years later, the death toll due to motor vehicle crashes rose to 3,642 (for drivers, motorcyclists, passenger vehicle occupants, etc.) which, as is self-evident, is higher than the previous records. The bigger half of these vehicle crash deaths by road happened in urban settings which is further unsettling as most people usually consider city streets to be safer.
Of course, this is not the first time that vehicle crash deaths have risen with time.
Accident Goals VS. Reality For 2020
No, the heading is not sarcastic, and we don’t have such a bad taste at humor either – “accident goals” are very real and the authorities devise them to cut down the instances of fatal accidents, crash injuries, and pedestrian fatalities.
Of course, the accident goals for 2020 in Texas were not promising to begin with and things became worse due to negligent behavior and violation of maximum speed limits from drivers.
For instance, in Houston, there had been 704 vehicle crash deaths in 2019 motor vehicle crashes, and this number was higher than the then-goal of 699. Thus, it came as a shock for people when the authorities put their goal number of traffic fatalities for Houston in 2020 at 728 – higher than last year!
Mind you, 2020 was mostly spent in lockdowns and curfews with far lesser cars and other vehicles on the road as there are usually. Despite this reduction, the stats for accidents did not drop as many times as predicted – apparently, people saw emptier roads as an excuse to over-speed, drive with higher than the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (drunk driver crashes are more likely to cause fatal injuries), or not worry about distracted driving that much.
The point is: even the authorities realize that car accident frequency is on the rise, year after year.
According to some estimates, the total number of fatal crashes in Texas for 2020 was 3,445 (for drivers, motorcyclists, passenger vehicle occupants, etc.) While this number is less than that of previous years, you must also factor in the absence of 40-50% of traffic density during this period!
If you do that, you’ll realize that the numbers are, in actuality, still on the rise.
Common Causes Of Car Accidents In Texas
So why do fatal motor vehicle accidents happen with such frequency throughout Texas? While the increase in traffic density is a factor, we see that this may not always affect the outcome as is reflected by the slightly smaller total stats for 2020 despite the streets being at least 40% emptier.
Of course, this does not mean that an increase in traffic density will have no impact, the point is that there are several other causes in play when it comes to a car crash and year-wise fatality rate:
- The leading cause of automobile accidents is distracted driving or driver inattention, which is especially true for passenger vehicles and truck accidents, many of which have caused crash fatalities.
- Negligent drivers can make things worse by exceeding traffic speed limits, aggressive driving, cutting through lanes, being negligent with left-hand turns, and violating traffic laws, all of which can cause serious single-vehicle crashes and multiple-vehicle crashes in cities and on highways (for all vehicle types but especially devastating for motorcycle crashes – leading to many traffic deaths).
- Driving under influence of alcohol (drunk driving crashes) has also led to thousands of accidents.
- So have innocent errors in judgment.
- Drowsy driving is another form of reckless driving and has resulted in many fatalities in crashes..
- Weather-related crashes at intersections or otherwise are also possible (mostly due to heavy rain; although even light rain can make the road slippery enough to make even the slightest negligence a very dangerous behavior).
And many more…
Dangerous road conditions can factor in some cases of injury crashes but are not primarily associated with accidents as much as these many other types of distractions and driver negligence. Things may also be complicated if passenger vehicle occupants were not wearing seat belts (unrestrained occupants are more likely to be ejected from the vehicle). Head-on crashes, fatal bus crashes, truck crashes, and assorted accidents contribute heavily to the road traffic deaths across the country, and in Texas as well.
The state aims at reforming the driving culture (perhaps a revision on the legal blood alcohol concentration limits to check drunk driving accidents, asserting better speed limit control, better safety in the transportation business, etc.) throughout Texas and make radical changes in the infrastructure to implement its 2050 Vision Zero goal whereby there will no vehicle crash deaths including no pedestrian deaths in the state – for now, however, things don’t appear to be going anywhere better.
The McDonald Worley Legal Team Will Help You Secure Justice
The rising risk of road fatalities is unsettling but being a car crash survivor is not easy either. The enormous financial load, coupled with the physical and mental agony that are usually associated with such traumatic experiences can be more than what most people can handle. If you or a loved one has been involved in such a crisis, then of all the things they are worried about, hiring an accident lawyer to pursue the liability insurance claim should not be one of them.
The award-winning McDonald Worley Law Firm is here for all personal injury victims. Our premium-level service and commitment to duty are second only to our desire to secure customer satisfaction. You’ll never feel dictated during the settlement negotiations with the insurance company or the legal process (if a lawsuit is filed) and instead retain complete control while we fight for your rights.
Our commitment to securing a win for our clients is reflected in the fact that we don’t charge a cent for our legal fees until you’ve won – no win, no pay.
Call us today then, and let’s get started with your case!