Texas recorded more traffic deaths in 2021 than any year since 1981 with TxDOT reporting more than 4,480 fatalities.
Texas Traffic Fatalities Continue Upward Trend with Alarming 15% Increase Over 2020
According to KXAN, the more than 4,480 deaths recorded by TxDOT is more than any year since 1981 when 4,701 deaths were recorded. This makes 2021 the second-deadliest year for Texas motorists since TxDOT began tracking traffic fatalities in 1940.
TxDOT noted that traffic deaths were up 15% over 2020. 2020 previously broke expectations with traffic deaths increasing by 7.54% over 2019 despite lower traffic levels due to COVID-19 closures.
TxDOT blames the increase in crashes and deaths on human behaviors. Safety advocates noted in 2020 that many of the accidents they were seeing were due to aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, tailgating, and general disregard for traffic rules and the safety of others on the road.
These behaviors continued in 2021 with 1,522 people killed in crashes involving speeding. TxDOT also determined 1,219 people were killed because they were not wearing a seatbelt.
Leading Causes of Traffic Accidents in Texas
The sad truth is that most of the traffic deaths recorded in 2021 were entirely preventable. Traffic accidents in general result from human error, negligence, or outright aggressive behaviors. Among those most often listed as factors in fatal crashes are:
- Speeding. Traveling at an unsafe speed not only increases your risk of being involved in a crash, it also increases your risk of being killed should a crash occur. For every 10 mph of increased speed, the risk of dying in a crash doubles. Further, the time “saved” by speeding typically falls within seconds or just a few minutes.
- Reckless Driving. Driving in a reckless or aggressive manner can result in tragedy. Reckless driving includes excessive lane changes, following too close to the car in front of you, completing dangerous turns, and failing to be conscious of the actions you take as a driver can affect those around you. Driving aggressively occurs when you attempt to control the actions of other drivers with your own actions behind the wheel.
- Distracted Driving. When most people think of distracted driving, they think of cell phones. But calls and texting are not the only distractions that contribute to crashes. Other distractions include eating, applying makeup, adjusting the radio, and even other occupants in the car. Anything that takes your eyes or attention off the road is a distraction.
- Failure to Adhere Traffic Signs and Signals. People may fail to follow traffic signs and signals due to distraction or active disregard. Oftentimes, a driver may think they are able to squeeze past a red light before cross traffic begins moving. It is important that drivers take notice of and follow all posted traffic signs and signals.
- Drunk Driving. With cell phones and rideshare services, we now have more alternatives to drunk driving than ever After all, a safe ride is just a quick call, text, or click away. Still, every year, thousands of Texas are killed by drunk drivers. It is simply not worth the risk.
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.
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