Texas Car Accidents Claim Average of 11 Lives Every Day
Texas remains a perilous place for drivers.
In fact, according to new statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), an average of 11 deaths are recorded along the state’s roads and highways every single day.
More than 79,000 Texas Highway Deaths Since 2000
More than 79,000 people have been killed in Texas highway accidents since 2000, including 3,374 roadway fatalities reported this year alone. If the trend continues, Texas roads and highways will mark their 22nd year without a deathless day on November 7th.
Sadly, the vast majority of car accidents and other highway crashes are entirely preventable and often result from speeding, distracted driving, and other poor driving behaviors.
“What we see is distracted driving, which can be a lot of different things,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan. “That can be your phone, makeup, it can be eating, it can be changing the radio, changing a podcast, picking something up off the floor, I mean, you name it.”
What’s Driving Texas’s High Crash Fatality Rate?
Dr. Art Markman, a psychology professor from the University of Texas who has been working with TxDOT, suggested an erosion of community might also be helping to drive the state’s unacceptably high traffic fatality rate.
“We have to remind people that they are part of a community,” Markman said. “We have to start considering everyone as part of our community. If we don’t do that, there are going to be all sorts of negative consequences, and those are going to include negative consequences on the road.”
Commissioner Ryan agreed.
“With the knowledge that, since the pandemic, people don’t seem to view others around them as part of a community, and, that they care less about those around them, we are starting to identify the problem,” she noted. “If we know there is a problem and we can identify that a big part of the problem is a lack of caring or apathy, then we also know the solution – we must care more about those around us.”
TxDOT Aims to “End the Streak” by 2035
To reduce the number of roadway fatalities, TXDOT is yet again working to raise awareness through its #EndTheStreakTXCampaign, which aims to educate Texans on ways they can play a part in solving the problem.
Its approach to reaching a goal of zero deaths by 2035 will focus on what TxDOT calls the 3 E’s: engineering, education, and enforcement. That means providing updated statistics, cracking down on reckless driving, holding all drivers accountable, and emphasizing safer road design.
“In all of our projects, as we design moving forward, we are looking at how we create increased safety on the roads,” Ryan said.
TXDOT is also asking Texans to help spread awareness:
- Make the best and safest decisions behind the wheel, don’t drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; always obey traffic laws; always wear a seatbelt.
- Post pictures on social media with this downloadable sign displaying the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX.
- Share personal stories on social media of loved ones who have been lost in a crash and use the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX.
- Follow @txdot social media pages and share the posted content.
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