How many more lives have to be lost before we realize that something is deeply flawed with our driving culture? Each day, an average of 10 people lose their lives on Texas roads. Some days are better than others, but according to The Texas Tribune, there hasn't been a single day that someone hasn't been killed in a crash in nearly 20 years.
The last time Texas has had zero fatalities was November 7th, 2000. This indicates that the Lone Star State has a serious problem. Numbers don't lie.
Texas fatal crash facts and figures
Currently, Texas is the second deadliest state in the nation when it comes to traffic fatalities — with a death rate surpassed only by Florida. Crash data shows that Texas even surpassed Florida, from 2012-2014. What's worse, from 2010-2018, Texas had a significantly higher fatal crash rate than California (whose population is much greater).
While roughly three-quarters of all Texas crashes occur in cities, nearly half of all traffic fatalities (1,520) occurred on rural roads in 2018. This is often attributed to:
- High speed limits: Many of Texas's major roads and highways have speed limits of 70 mph, some even as high as 80 mph.
- Dangerous infrastructure: Many two-way roads have only single lanes and no shoulders.
While walking and cycling tend to be less popular in Texas cities than in other cities in the U.S., pedestrian and bicyclist deaths increased by 40 percent over the past 10 years. According to state data from the NHTSA:
- 350 pedestrians were killed in 2009 across Texas, 612 were killed in 2018
- 48 bicyclists were killed in 2009 across Texas, 69 were killed in 2018
What is being done to bring these numbers down?
One of the biggest problems with our driving culture is how traffic fatalities are viewed. Many people see them as inevitable, rather than preventable. In addition, many drivers don't ever think it'll happen to them. This has safety advocates across the Lone Star State concerned.
“This is probably one of the most deadly situations we have in the state, and it's one of the most controllable situations we have in the state. Ninety percent of the deaths that we’ve had over the 19 years are preventable,” said Laura Ryan, a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, which has set a goal of ending all Texas traffic fatalities by the year 2050.
Many state agencies and safety advocates plan on working together to improve roadway conditions across Texas. This includes widening certain roads, installing up-to-date guardrails, and improving conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Overall, it's the driving culture in Texas that needs to change. Drivers should step back and re-evaluate their habits and skills. Some drivers feel comfortable traveling at unsafe speeds, using cellphones behind the wheel, and even driving drunk. Many of them don't see it as a problem until it's too late; when they have injured themselves and someone else, or they have caused someone's death.
That's why the Law Offices of Gene S. Hagood is dedicated to pursuing justice for crash victims and their families. If you were injured in a crash because of someone else's negligent or reckless behavior, you shouldn't have to pay. It wasn't your fault.
Our legal team will aggressively investigate your crash and help you build a strong claim against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance provider. Contact us online today to schedule your free case evaluation.