Texas has seen reduced traffic on the roads throughout 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Texas roadway fatalities have continued to rise at approximately the same rate as last year. Even with the state locking down for a few months and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) seeing a drop in the number of reported car crashes, Texans are still dying on the roads at an alarming rate.
In the first quarter of 2020, the number of car crashes in Texas’s large metro areas (Austin, Dallas-Fort-Worth, and Houston) decreased by 11 to 15 percent when compared to the same months in 2019. However, data from TxDOT indicates that during the same time period, car crash fatalities only dropped by 3.5 percent, from 865 deaths to 836. This timeframe includes the beginning of state implementation of coronavirus restrictions, which led to fewer cars on the road. The cars that were on the road, though, were driving much faster than usual as indicated by the increase in speeding tickets during that time. Drivers were also failing to stay in their own lanes, were driving while distracted, and/or were driving drunk. Texas has not had one day go by without a traffic related fatality since November 7, 2000. We have reached two full decades with daily Texan roadway deaths, with an average of 10 people dying from a traffic-related accident each day.
How To Reduce Texas Roadway Fatalities
Over the past few years, TxDOT has attempted to decrease car crash fatalities on Texas roads. Social media campaigns and the use of emergency roads signs to remind drivers just how many people have died on the roads each year are just some of the ways they are trying to help Texans become more aware of their driving habits in an effort to reduce car accidents and fatalities. Even with increased awareness, drivers are still not making good choices while behind the wheel and it is continuing to lead to car accidents with fatalities.
How can Texans help reduce the number of fatal car accidents this year? Obeying all traffic laws and driving defensively is a start. The following driving safety tips will also help keep you and your family safe on the Texas roads this year:
- Scan the road ahead: Staying alert and aware while driving on Texas highways can be difficult when driving long distances, but is essential to knowing what is going on in front of you. Keep your eyes scanning the road ahead to be able to react quickly to any sudden stops or changes.
- Stay out of the passing lane: The majority of highway accidents happen in the far left lane – known as the fast lane. If you are not actively passing a vehicle in front of you, do not drive in the far left lane. Staying in the center lanes will give you more time to react and maneuver if there are sudden changes ahead.
- Never text and drive: Driving while distracted is one of the most dangerous driving behaviors out there. Keeping your hands on the wheel will ensure you are able to react quickly to any situations that arise while you are driving. It also encourages you to keep your eyes on the road instead of on a phone or other device.
- Be prepared for an accident: While no one wants to experience the pain and stress of being in a car accident, it is important to be prepared just in case. Make sure to pull your car over to a safe area, if you are able to, after an accident so that you and your family are out of harm’s way. Call emergency services right away if anyone is injured in the car accident. Make sure to exchange information and get a copy of the police report for insurance claims and potential legal action.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys
Houston is a city notorious for traffic and car accidents. Reckless drivers who endanger the lives of others should be held accountable for the damages their actions cause. If you or a loved one was seriously injured or killed by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.