A Houston car accident lawyer discusses
It's not news to anyone who lives here or has visited: Texas has some dangerous roadways. Many transportation analysts say that the Lone Star State is home to some of the most deadly roads in the United States.
Now we know these streets pose a high risk to one group in particular — teens and other young drivers.
Over the past 10 years, no other state in the U.S. reported more fatal car accidents involving drivers aged 15-20 than Texas, according to a new study. From 2010 to 2019, there were about 4,275 fatal crashes involving young drivers.
Almost 15% of fatal Texas car, truck, and motorcycle accidents involve young drivers, according to Valuepenguin.
These thousands of deaths happened over a period where the overall number of all crashes involving young drivers dropped by 5%. Across the nation, fatal accidents involving young drivers decreased by more than 25% from 2009-2018, according to federal data.
It is not immediately clear why the number of fatal Texas teen car accidents fell, but crash severity increased.
Fatal car accident hotspots
Each year, about 425 young drivers die in Texas car accidents. Some counties see more fatal car accidents than others. Houston's many fatal wrecks mean that Harris County often leads the state in deadly accidents. The locations of these accidents are so numerous it's easier to say that if it's a major highway that runs through Houston, it's a crash hotspot.
Outside of the city, over the last 5 years, the counties that have experienced the most fatal crashes include Dallas, Bexar, Tarrant, and Travis. Montgomery County is further down on the top 10 list.
In Brazoria County and the surrounding area, TX-6 is a major source of fatal crashes. In just three years, on a stretch of Highway 6, from Bayou Vista to Arcola, there were about 15 deadly car accidents. Also known as Morris Avenue in some regions, Highway 6 passes through Hitchcock, Santa Fe, Algoa, Alvin, and Iowa Colony.
Other area roadways that have seen numerous fatal car accidents (2017-2019) are I-45 and Texas Highway 288.
Why do young drivers crash?
Young drivers are vulnerable to fatal accidents for a variety of reasons that have to do with their experience and mental development, according to numerous studies.
Drivers ages 15-20 lack the maturity necessary to consistently identify hazards and risky behaviors, researchers say. "Lack of scanning to detect and respond to hazards" and speeding often contribute to youth fatal crashes. Their inexperience puts them at a disadvantage when quick reactions are necessary.
Also, young people can be easily distracted — especially by passengers of a similar age.
Major factors in fatal car accidents involving young drivers often include speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, time of day (nighttime poses a higher risk), passengers (the more friends in the vehicle, the more likely the driver is to partake in risky behavior), failure to wear seatbelts, and drowsy driving, studies say. Time of year was also a factor in Texas. About 30% of fatal teen crashes happen over the summer months.
Help for Texas car accident victims
If you were injured in an accident that wasn't your fault, you deserve compensation for your damages. Recovering from serious injuries can be a long, frustrating, and expensive process. You can file a claim with the insurance company and hope for fair compensation, or you can send in an experienced Houston car accident attorney to demand the compensation you're entitled to.
The legal team at The Law Offices of Gene S. Hagood builds strong cases that the insurance companies can't ignore. Let us protect your rights and fight for every dollar you deserve. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today for a free consultation.