It’s a powerful statistic: According to the Texas Department of Transportation, at least one deadly crash has occurred on Texas roadways every day since Nov. 7th, 2000. Over the past 19 years, almost 67,000 traffic fatalities have occurred in the Lone Star State.
In an effort to end the streak, TxDOT has initiated a viral campaign in an effort to bring awareness to the tragic, daily statistic. The department is urging drivers to stay alert, obey traffic laws and take personal responsibility behind the wheel.
TxDOT is also inviting the public to share personal stories of loved ones they’ve lost in car crashes on its social media pages using photo and video testimonials with their hashtag.
“Every day for the past 16 years, somebody has lost a spouse, child, friend or neighbor on Texas roadways,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “These deadly crashes are a sobering reminder that we must do everything in our power to stay focused and safe while driving. We can stop this staggering streak if every driver makes it a priority to be safe, focused and responsible.”
Leading Causes of Traffic Deaths
There is no single reason that traffic fatalities occur, however, many of them are caused by unsafe driving behaviors. These preventable deaths are life-altering for friends and family. Distracted driving is the number one cause of all traffic-related deaths in the Lone Star State. Dangerous driving comes in many forms:
- Distracted driving
- Illegal and unsafe speeding
- Drunk and/or drugged driving
- Drowsy driving
Deadliest Roadways in Texas:
Texas has the most miles of roadway compared to any other state in the union. In fact, Texas has over 80,000 miles of highway. Some of these roadways are more dangerous than others.
- I-10 Harris County: I-10 is not only the most dangerous road in Texas, but it is also the fifth most dangerous roadway in the United States. This may be due to the amount of traffic in Houston. After all, Houston is the most populated city in Texas.
- I-45 Harris County: I-45 stretches from Dallas to Houston; However, it’s most deadly through Harris County. This highway averaged 56.5 fatal accidents per 100 miles in 2018.
- I-35: Stretching from the United States – Mexico border all the way to Oklahoma, Texans are no strangers to I-35. Often referred to as the I-35 corridor, this highway weaves itself through some of Texas’ most populated cities. The sheer amount of travel alone on this interstate contributes to its amount of accidents.
- US Route 285: This route is often referred to as “Death Highway.” This stretch of roadway connects the west Texas oil fields with the New Mexico oil fields. Because of the oil fields, US Route 285 is plagued with commercial traffic. Often times these workers are working long hours with little sleep resulting in drowsy driving. Additionally, a decent amount of these workers do not have enough experience to drive poorly maintained vehicles.
How to Help End the Streak
It is important that all drivers on Texas roadways do their share in ensuring the safety of themselves while being courteous to other drivers. Carelessness while driving can cause serious wrecks, potentially catastrophic injuries and even death. So please don’t contribute to the streak.
- Buckle up – passengers and drivers alike need to be buckled. A seatbelt can be the difference between life and death in many crashes. According to the CDC, seatbelts reduce the risk of death by 45% and cut the risk of sustaining a serious injury by 50%. Under Texas law, all passengers and drivers in a vehicle must wear a seat belt.
- Pay attention – Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of roadway deaths. Distracted driving includes talking and texting on the phone, changing the music on the stereo, adjusting GPS systems, eating fast food – anything that takes your eyes off the road. Even if it “takes two seconds” – never risk it.
- Never drink and drive – In today’s day and age, there is never an excuse for drinking and driving. Especially when rideshares such as Lyft and Uber are easily accessible by smartphone – generally at the tips of our fingers. Always have a plan on how to arrive safely home or plan on staying sober. Being a designated driver will help your friends and family stay safe.
- Drive the speed limit – Texas may have the highest speed limits in the country, but that does not give drivers a free pass to disobey posted speed limits. Obey the speed limits. Additionally, drivers should take weather and road conditions into consideration while driving. If the weather is unfavorable, drivers should drive below the speed limit to allow a longer stopping distance.
What The Carlson Law Firm Can Do To Help
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in an accident caused by distracted driving, call one of our car accident attorneys as soon as possible. We have a team of advocates who may be able to help you fight for compensation for your damages. With 12 offices across the state of Texas, we are well equipped to help you fight for your rights. We care, we can help.