According to preliminary 2018 data, Texas fatalities from vehicle crashes are the lowest they’ve been in the last seven years. While this decrease is notable, it’s certainly not a sign that car and truck wrecks are no longer a concern for Texas.
To put this improvement in perspective, in 2017, Texas had its highest number of car accident fatalities at 3,722. Preliminary data for 2018 shows that Texas still had 3,567 traffic fatalities—a 4% decrease. Unfortunately, Texas is still one of the leading states for accident fatalities, with only California coming anywhere near our fatal crash rate.
Keep reading to learn more about current crash trends, what’s being done to improve road safety, and what you can do to help keep our roads safe.
Distracted Driving Laws Is Still a Serious Problem
In the fall of 2017, Texas passed a law that banned texting while driving. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in 2018 distracted driving caused almost 400 deaths and over 2,300 serious injuries in Texas alone, with 18% of all car crashes involving distracted driving.
While some believe that the new texting while driving law saves lives, it is unlikely to convince every driver that they need to set the phone down or pull over. However, lawmakers and safety advocates hope that the laws, combined with campaigns like “Talk/Text Crash,” #EndTheStreakTX, and “Heads Up, Texas” will raise awareness for distracted driving and promote safe driving habits.
“When you’re driving, do your best to follow the rules of the road. Put your phone down. Keep an eye out for vulnerable road users, like pedestrians and bike riders.”
Any activity that takes your attention away from driving is considered distracted driving. Whether that’s texting, checking emails, fiddling with radio stations, or even talking on the phone. You can help keep our roads safe by practicing safe driving skills and teaching your teen drivers and others about the dangers of distracted driving. Keep these tips in mind when driving:
- Driving should always receive your full attention.
- Pull off to the side of the road or into a text stop before texting or placing a call.
- Turn your phone off while driving or keep it out of sight to avoid the temptation to respond to notifications.
- Let people know that you won’t answer messages or calls while driving and will get back to them when you can do so safely.
- Use smartphone apps like DriveMode or Cellcontrol that limit and eliminate distractions and notifications.
Drunk Driving and Speeding Are Other Leading Factors in Car Crashes
According to the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT), driving while under the influence continues to be one of the leading causes of fatal car crashes in Texas. Up there with drunk-driving and distracted driving, the other top cause isn’t hard to guess; speeding rounds out the top three factors involved in fatal vehicle crashes.
Pedestrian Fatalities Are Down Slightly in Texas
The ICT reports that pedestrian fatalities have also decreased, from 676 in 2016 to 597 last year. Again, while we hope that the number of fatal crashes will continue to fall each year, having nearly 600 pedestrian deaths in one state is still a serious concern.
What Do These Statistics Mean for Texas Drivers?
While modest decreases in the numbers of car crash fatalities are good news, we all need to be diligent on the roads. Texas still has some of the highest rates of fatal car wrecks and drunk driving in the country. According to the 2018 Allstate America’s Best Drivers Survey, San Antonio was ranked an abysmal 141st out of 200 cities, and we’re roughly 30% more likely to get in a crash than the national average.
When you’re driving, do your best to follow the rules of the road. Put your phone down. Keep an eye out for vulnerable road users, like pedestrians and bike riders. Report people who are driving erratically and may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you’re involved in a crash, you need to act quickly. Besides calling 911, you should always seek medical care for your injuries and document the circumstances surrounding the collision. For example, take photos of the crash scene, write down witnesses’ contact information, and cooperate fully with the police investigation. Finally, contact an experienced Texas injury lawyer at Crosley Law.
Crosley Law Firm | Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorneys
Have you or a loved one been the victim of a car crash in Texas? The attorneys at Crosley Law Firm have experience representing clients in a variety of cases from car crashes to aviation accidents. Our attorneys are here to listen to your story and help you understand your rights and options regarding personal injury claims and obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries and suffering.
Allstate America’s best drivers report (2018). Allstate. Retrieved from https://www.allstate.com/americas-best-drivers/index.htm
Talk, Text, Crash (2019, June). Texas Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.txdot.gov/driver/share-road/distracted.html
Texas traffic fatalities drop (2019, January 28). Insurance Council of Texas. Retrieved from https://www.insurancecouncil.org/texas-traffic-fatalities-drop/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.