Researchers Struggle to Understand Texas High Rate of Drowsy Driving Deaths
As awareness campaigns continue to focus on distracted driving and drunk driving, the dangers of drowsy driving and driver fatigue often go unreported. However, what many fail to realize, is that drowsy driving is the third-leading cause of impairment-related crashes, accounting for 6,000 fatal accidents in 2016 alone.
According to Patch, Texas has been hit the hardest by drowsy driving, with one in every five exhaustion-related traffic deaths being recorded in Texas in 2016.
While one may attribute the large number of fatigued driving deaths to Texas’s large population, the truth is much more complex. In fact, Texans are estimated to be four times more likely than Californians to die in a drowsy driving accident, despite California’s population exceeding that of Texas by more than 10 million residents.
Researchers are still working to understand the variables that contribute to Texas’s high drowsy driving death rate, but they have made some important discoveries along the way.
One is that drowsy driving deaths occur 6.8 times more often in rural areas of Texas than in urban areas, pointing to “highway hypnosis” as a possible factor. Researchers have also noted that drowsy driving deaths are more likely to occur on Sunday and Monday mornings between 5:00 and 6:00 am.
Finally, drowsy driving deaths also peak in June, suggesting later nights may be resulting in sleepier mornings.
Other Texas Auto Accident Statistics
The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
- 3,773 people were killed in Texas traffic accidents in 2016, marking a 5.45% increase from the 3,578 deaths reported in 2015.
- 638 of the deaths reported in 2016 were attributed to head-on collision.
- Alcohol was determined to be a factor in 987 traffic deaths, accounting for roughly 26% of all Texas traffic fatalities.
- An additional 264,076 people were injured in auto accidents in Texas in 2016.
- Based on reportable data for 2016, TxDOT estimates:
- One person was killed in a traffic accident every 2 hours and 20 minutes.
- One person was injured every 1 minute and 59 seconds.
- A reportable crash occurred every 57 seconds.
Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced car accident attorneys have experience handling a multitude of injury accidents, no matter how severe the crash or injury. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages if another driver acted negligently. Our firm has the experienced lawyers and financial resources that you need to achieve the real results you deserve.
Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review — attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you cannot make it to our office, we can visit you at your home, in the hospital, or at work.