After 11 traffic fatalities last month, the Capital of Texas is off to a rough start this year with achieving its Vision Zero goals. Austin’s traffic fatalities were nearly three times the number they were in January last year. Between 2007 and 2015, Austin averaged about four deaths in January.
Further, the city also experienced an increase in total traffic fatalities in 2019.
The rise of fatal crashes comes after three consecutive years of declines. In fact, this is the first increase since 2015 when the city adopted Vision Zero. Officials report traffic fatalities in Austin reduced from:
- 79 traffic deaths in 2016
- 76 traffic deaths in 2017
- 74 traffic deaths in 2018
However, the number of traffic fatalities spiked in 2019 with 88 deaths. Vision Zero doesn’t aim to reduce car crashes to zero. Instead, it aims to minimize the severity of crashes.
What are the primary causes of car crashes in Austin?
Nearly 10,000 people die annually in the United States from speed-related crashes. In fact, in Austin, speed is the primary cause of 24% of traffic crashes. The following are the top four factors of car crash deaths in Austin:
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield
Austin continues to swell with newcomers every year. As a result, there is more activity on the city’s roads. City officials believe the best way to reduce deaths on Austin roads is to reduce speeds.
What is Austin doing to combat traffic fatalities?
The city is trying to eliminate all traffic fatalities in Austin by 2025. This spike in traffic fatalities calls into questions of its Vision Zero campaign is actually working. At a city council meeting, representatives from Vision Zero presented fatal crash as part of an effort to ask the council for $400 million. The money will ultimately be to assist the city in reducing traffic deaths to zero by 2025.
A billion-dollar transportation package is expected to be on the November 2020 election ballot. Part of the transportation would allocate money toward getting more cars off the road with an improved rail service.
Lastly, Austin police are encouraging drivers to operate their vehicles in a safe manner.
“Do not become or do not create one of these statistics, because each and every one of these statistics is a human life,” Chief Brian Manley said in a May 2019 news conference. “It is a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a son or a daughter. And there is just simply no excuse.”
Challenges Austin is facing in reducing traffic fatalities
Unfortunately, like other cities nationwide, Austin is limited in the actions it can take to reduce the number of car crash deaths on its roads. For example, state laws often limit what changes they are able to implement in regards to speed and design.
An Austin Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
At a time when you’re vulnerable, traumatized and emotionally exhausted, The Carlson Law Firm has a qualified Austin Car Accident Lawyer can help you navigate the aftermath of a car crash. Whether you have suffered injuries or have lost a loved one, we can help you through the legal process.
Our team of Board Certified Personal Injury attorney and paralegals will support you from start to finish through the complex legal process. An Austin Car Accident Lawyer from our firm can provide a level representation that will get you through.
If you are looking for a legal advantage, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. We’re available 24/7. We care. We can help.