Did you know about 4,400 deaths in 2021 resulted from car accidents in Texas?
This figure reflected a 15-percent increase from the 3,900 recorded deaths in 2020.
In 2021, Lone Star State also had 15,700 cases of severe injuries due to car crashes. Additionally, over 19,400 people suffered life-changing trauma and wounds from auto accidents.
So what does this mean for Texas? Is driving getting dangerous in the state?
Look at the car accident statistics in Texas for the year 2021.
- According to the Texas Department of Transportation, single-vehicle crashes led to 1,500 deaths. This type of crash involved vehicles that ran off the road.
- There were around 239,000 people injured in road incidents.
- The number of people who died at intersections numbered a little over 1,000.
- On the other hand, those who died in head-on collisions were about 600. There wasn’t a day in 2021 in Texas that no one died on its roadways.
- The deadliest day on Texas roads in 2021 was October 22, when 27 people died in traffic crashes. However, the deadliest month was August—418 deaths in traffic accidents.
- The 2021 data also revealed that about 46 percent of all traffic-related deaths didn’t involve wearing a seat belt.
- In addition, there were about 500 people who died as drivers and passengers of motorcycles. About 45 percent of them didn’t wear a helmet.
- There were about 2,000 auto-related pedestrian deaths.
- DUI-related fatalities reached a little over 1,000, accounting for 24 percent of all auto-related deaths for the year.
Based on these car crash reports, an average of one person died every two hours in 2021.
Why Do Accidents Frequently Happen in Texas
With its large population, it’s somewhat unsurprising that Lone Star State has a high incidence of traffic accidents.
The state landed in the top 10 list, having the highest fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled.
So what are the reasons Texas is apt to have a lot of accidents?
Here are the common causes.
1. Driver Error
Attributable to almost all auto accidents, driver error puts innocent people in danger, whether pedestrians, passengers, or other drivers.
There are many variables to driver error. It could be stress, slow reaction time, or distracted from other things.
Fortunately, this can be avoided if only drivers take the time to be conscious, mindful, and alert of the dangers of the road.
2. Not Obeying Traffic Signs, Lights, or Officers
Road signs are there for a reason—to warn drivers about the elements or circumstances of the road. Perhaps there’s a slippery slope or a blind corner up ahead.
With these signs, drivers have ample time to slow down and adjust accordingly to avoid accidents.
Traffic lights and officers help regulate the movement of cars, especially in intersections. The expectation is for drivers to follow them for an orderly flow.
3. Distracted Driving
Did you know distracted driving is the second leading cause of auto accidents in the state?
The incidence of cell phone use while driving is high. Many drivers are often caught looking at their phones while operating their vehicles. This is highly dangerous.
Taking their eyes off the road can reduce their reaction time to avoid collisions. So the more often they do this, the more likely accidents will happen. And their inattention can lead to severe injuries like broken bones, brain trauma, and spine problems.
4. Abruptly Switching Lanes
Ideally, drivers should have a predictable pattern of movement when traversing the roads.
Swaying in and out between lanes can cause significant problems for other drivers.
When you drift into other lanes abruptly, it will startle other drivers, causing them to react surprisedly. This triggers a chain reaction among the other drivers, increasing the likelihood of collision between them.
Unfortunately, some drivers have slow reaction times. A sudden change of lanes can lead to rear-end collisions.
5. Failure to Yield When Going to the Left
The driver is responsible for assessing the distance and speed of the oncoming cars when turning left. He must see that he is cleared to turn after judging how the other vehicles are moving.
Proper execution of the turn can reduce the risk of a crash. Failure to observe this assessment will likely result in a collision. And often, the driver who made the turn gets the worst damage.
6. Aggressive Driving
Short-tempered, aggressive drivers in a hurry often rush through traffic, needing to be more mindful of their safety. Unfortunately, their behavior can lead to injuries or damage to other drivers.
Examples of aggressive driving are speeding, tailgating, and drifting in and out between lanes or of traffic. Running the red lights is also typical for drivers rushing to get to their destinations.
7. Road Rage
This hostile behavior on the road should be avoided. It is entirely unnecessary yet causes property damage, bodily injuries, or even death.
Common examples of road rage include fighting with fists, kicks, or weapons. Beaming headlights to oncoming drivers to blind them is another form of road rage. So does stepping on the brakes suddenly multiple times to incite others to fight.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict the happening of this dangerous and erratic behavior.
8. Reckless Driving
When a reckless driver speeds up or cuts off other drivers, he unnecessarily puts them at risk of bodily injuries or property damage.
Reckless driving covers all types of irresponsible behavior on the road. It includes disregarding traffic lights and signs, evasive maneuvers without regard for safety, and using a mobile phone while driving.
9. Impaired Driving
Have you noticed you become less observant when you’re drowsy?
Drowsiness can impair your vision, judgment, and reaction speed.
You may not be able to detect subtle hints that indicate the likelihood of a collision. For instance, the car next to you is attempting to switch to your lane. But because you failed to notice his maneuver, your vehicles collided.
Here’s another reason why you should not drive when you lack sleep.
Any sudden change in speed or direction of the vehicle in front may startle you. Or worse, you may not be able to react in time to avert a collision.
Drowsiness can also lead to falling asleep at the steering wheel. This is dangerous for you and the other drivers because losing control of your car means colliding with them.
If you’re planning a long drive, always get adequate sleep beforehand. That way, you’re alert. Or, if you’re feeling drowsy during your travel, pull over to a safe location and take a power nap to recharge.
10. Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
You shouldn’t be driving if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08.
At this level, your senses are impaired, affecting your judgment and acuity. Driving while drunk is a recipe for car accidents.
In the same way, you shouldn’t drive a vehicle if you’re feeling the effects of your medication. Nausea, drowsiness, confusion, and vertigo can impair your keenness and ability to drive safely.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a legal prescription or an illicit drug. If it impairs your alertness and ability to make sound judgments, don’t drive.
11. Teen Drivers
Sad to say, youth incites risk-taking and poor judgment. And if you add inexperience, it’s a lethal combination.
Unfortunately, these factors contribute to a high incidence of teen car accidents.
12. Elderly Drivers
Many senior drivers drive slowly for various reasons. They struggle with diminished vision and loss of muscle tone and flexibility. Joint stiffness or inflammation due to arthritis can also impair their ability to drive well.
For these reasons, most elderly drivers pose a risk on the highways.
For longer drives, you can tell your elderly friends or relatives to leave the driving to someone younger and can handle the task. Otherwise, they become dangerous to themselves and others on the road.
13. Unsafe Road Conditions
Potholes, missing guardrails, and confusing signs will likely make driving difficult for most drivers. If you want other elements like sharp curves, uneven surfaces, and poor lighting at night, you got accident-prone roads.
If you’re unfamiliar with the road conditions, it’s best to slow down. Driving too fast without knowing what surprises are up ahead can be dangerous.
Bad weather conditions can also aggravate the situation. Fog or heavy rain can reduce road visibility. On the other hand, snow or ice can make driving treacherous.
When these circumstances are present, give yourself enough reaction time to proceed appropriately. Or if the conditions are severe, it’s best to stop and wait it out.
Speak to a Car Accident Lawyer in Houston
Have you been a victim of reckless driving resulting in physical injuries or property damage?
You need to know your options for proceeding legally against the at-fault driver.
The experienced legal team at O’Hara Law Firm will answer your questions. And if you want to pursue a case against the erring driver, we’d be happy to represent you and fight for your right to seek compensation for damages.
Do you want to schedule a free consultation? Contact us today and schedule the meeting.