New car accident statistics show Texas experienced a drastic increase in the number of traffic fatalities recorded in 2020, even as the state’s roadways saw less traffic.
Rate of Texas Fatal Car Accidents in 2020 Up 19%
COVID-19 shutdowns and closures had a major impact on the number of miles traveled by Texans in 2020. In fact, annual miles traveled in Texas dropped nearly 10% compared to 2019.
Most people would think this reduced traffic would translate to fewer crashes and fewer traffic deaths. However, new data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) shows total traffic deaths actually increased by 7.54% 3,896 people were killed in crashes in Texas. This marks the most traffic accidents recorded in Texas in nearly 30 years.
When adjusted for reduced traffic, TxDOT determined that the fatality rate on Texas roadways was 1.50 per hundred million vehicle miles traveled. This marked an 18.84% increase from 1.26 in 2019.
Texas traffic death statistics are expected to increase again once data for 2021 is reviewed and finalized. Early indicators suggest Texas will report more than 4,000 deaths for the year.
Texas Car Accident Death Statistics 2020
After researching the traffic and automotive deaths reported in 2020, TxDOT found:
- Drunk driving crashes killed 958 people
- Drunk driving crashes accounted for 25% of all people killed in traffic accidents in Texas in 2020.
- Distracted driving crashes killed 368 people.
- 03% of all fatal Texas traffic crashes occurred in rural areas of the state, accounting for 1,958 deaths.
- 865 people were killed in crashes that occurred at or were related to an intersection.
- Head-on crashes killed 538 people.
- A person was killed in a car crash in Texas every 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Texas Car Accident Injury Facts and Car Crash Statistics
Traffic deaths are not the only alarming numbers noted by TxDOT. Texas continues to see hundreds of thousands of people injured in car crashes each year. In 2020, other Texas car accident statistics included:
- 205,948 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in Texas.
- 14,656 people suffered an incapacitating injury due to a crash in Texas.
- A person was injured in a car crash in Texas every 2 minutes and 34 seconds.
- A reportable crash occurred every 1 minute 7 seconds.
Most Common Car Accident Injuries
Among the most common injuries suffered by Texans involved in car crashes are:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – Car accidents are the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries. Every year, 50,000 people died from TBI and another 80,000 to 90,000 suffer long-term disability. A concussion from a car accident can easily result in TBI.
- Back Injuries – Back injuries are another common injury in car accidents. Back pain after a car accident may not be immediate, and it may take hours, days, or even weeks for a crash-related back injury to become evident.
- Spinal cord injuries – Damage to the spinal cord can be very serious, resulting in partial or total paralysis after a car accident.
- Organ damage – The impact of a collision and flying debris can damage vital organs and cause internal bleeding. These injuries require emergency medical treatment.
- Broken bones and fractures – Broken arms, legs, and ribs. The severity of the break can vary, but all warrant an immediate visit to the hospital.
- Whiplash and neck injuries – Crash victims often suffer whiplash refers to injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck. Even at low speeds, crashes can result in neck injuries and whiplash. Seeking immediate treatment for a neck injury after a car accident is necessary to avoid long-term complications.
- Soft tissue injuries – These include sprains, strains, and bruising as well as damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Soft tissue injuries are very common in auto accidents and can cause long-lasting pain.
10 Leading Causes of Car Crashes in Texas
Car accidents can result from a variety of causes, and a single crash may have multiple causes and contributing factors. In Texas, common causes of car crashes include:
- Speeding – Speeding is the most common cause of fatal crashes in Texas and across the United States.
- Drunk driving – Driving intoxicated is never okay, and it is always preventable. With the wide availability of taxi and rideshare services, there is simply no excuse for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
- Running red lights – It seems more and more people are taking unreasonable risks to avoid stopping at traffic lights. This includes trying to beat red lights and even ignoring them outright.
- Running stop signs – Similar to stop lights, drivers should observe stop signs. There are there for a reason.
- Reckless Driving – From various moving violations to unsafe lane changes, reckless driving puts all motorists at risk. Not just the reckless driver.
- Aggressions – When asked about increases in truck accidents around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, one expert noted that aggression appears to be becoming more common on Texas roadways.
- Fatigue – Driving tired or fatigued causes reduced reaction times, reduced attention to the road, and can easily result in serious and fatal crashes.
Injured in a Texas Car Crash? Call Thomas J. Henry Law
If you suffered an injury in a car crash or if you lost a loved one to a collision, call Thomas J. Henry Law now. Victims of traffic accidents deserve justice. While nothing can reverse the outcome of your or your loved one’s crash, financial compensation can help you deal with what follows.
Thomas J. Henry Law has fought for clients injured in car accidents for nearly 30 years. Over that time, our attorneys have built a reputation for being a law firm that gets results. Do not wait, we have offices near you and Texas car accident attorneys standing by 24/7 to help you with your claim. Call now for your free case consultation.