Texas Car Accident Statistics
All states see their fair share of traffic accidents throughout the year. Consistently, however, Texas is the worst year after year. In fact, Texas has not had a day without one traffic accident since November 7, 2000. Many of these accidents are fatal for those involved.
There are many different causes for car crashes across the state, and Texas lawmakers and law enforcement agencies are always exploring ways to lower the number of accidents and deaths on the roads. It’s important, though, that victims of these crashes know they can take action now to demand the justice and compensation they deserve.
When another person is negligent and causes a car accident, those hurt can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party or their insurance company. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact the experienced attorneys at Ketterman Rowland & Westlund. Our dedicated team will treat you with the respect and compassion you deserve.
What You Need to Know About Texas Crash Statistics
Of all the accidents that occur on Texas roads, car accidents are the most common. Although many of these crashes are minor, car accident statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) show they can also be very serious. Sometimes, these accidents are fatal for those involved. According to TxDOT:
- In 2017, Texas roadways had a fatality rate of 1.37 deaths per hundred million miles traveled by vehicles. Although this number sounds shocking, it is actually a decrease from 2.14 deaths per hundred million in 2016.
- Also indicating that the death toll is dropping, Texas saw 3,727 fatalities on its roads in 2017. That’s a decrease of almost 4 percent compared with the year before.
- In 2017, there were 14,282 crashes on Texas roads that resulted in serious injury. From these crashes, a total of 17,535 people were seriously hurt.
- The majority of fatal crashes in Texas occurred in rural areas. These accounted for 52 percent of fatal auto accidents throughout the state, or 1,952 deaths.
- Single-vehicle accidents were also prevalent in 2017. These crashes made up 35 percent of all crashes and resulted in 1,311 deaths.
- In 2017, 763 people were killed in crashes that occurred at an intersection or that were related to an intersection.
- 553 people were killed in head-on crashes in 2017.
- Of all the car accident fatalities that occurred in 2017, about 40 percent of accident victims were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
- In Texas, one person is killed every two hours and 20 minutes on the roads, and one person is injured nearly every two minutes.
Although these statistics are alarming, there are even more troubling stats coming out of Texas involving motorcycle crashes.
Texas Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Riding a motorcycle is certainly a fun and adventurous way to get around, and Texas has beautiful climate throughout the year for bikers. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a passenger vehicle. When a motorcycle crash occurs, the biker is even more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries.
Below are just a few motorcycle accident statistics that show just how dangerous Texas roads can be.
- There were a total of 505 deaths resulting from motorcycle crashes in 2017.
- Of those, 204 motorcycle fatalities occurred on rural roads and 301 occurred in urban areas.
- Based on miles driven, motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to be involved in a crash than those in passenger vehicles.
- The majority of bikers killed in 2017, 52 percent, were not wearing a helmet when they were involved in a crash.
- 42 percent of crashes between motorcycles and passenger vehicles involved the car hitting the motorcycle while the biker was making a left-hand turn.
- Bikers are five times more likely to become hurt in a crash than those in passenger vehicles on the same stretch of road.
- Over 95 percent of motorcycle crashes result in injury.
- When a motorcyclist is in an accident, 45 percent sustain moderate to severe injuries.
- Approximately three out of four motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle.
- Motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to die in a crash than drivers of passenger cars.
It’s clear from looking at the statistics that motorcycle crashes are typically much worse than those involving passenger vehicles. However, truck accidents produce some troubling statistics, as well.
Texas Truck Accident Statistics
When a commercial truck and a smaller vehicle are involved in an accident on the road, it’s those in the passenger car who suffer the most severe injuries. Trucks are much heavier than cars and take longer to slow and stop. As such, when a crash occurs, those in smaller cars have little chance.
Below are some of the most startling truck accident statistics from TxDOT.
- Over 13 percent of truck accidents in the entire country occurred in Texas.
- In 2010, 284 truck accidents were fatal, and 2,339 resulted in serious injury.
- In 2010, there were 15,676 commercial truck crashes alone.
- Truck accidents in Texas are responsible for 1.29 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.
- The average yearly number of truck accidents in Texas is usually around 300, with over 2,000 injuries resulting from them each year.
From the statistics, it’s clear that truck accidents are a serious problem on Texas roads. When those in smaller vehicles get into an accident with a commercial truck, the odds are greatly stacked against them.
Common Causes of Fatal Crashes in Texas
It’s natural to wonder why Texas sees so many fatal crashes on its roads. However, there is no one single reason. Instead, there are a number of factors that contribute to auto accidents in the Lone Star State. These include:
- Distracted driving: Texting and driving has been illegal in Texas since 2017. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop many drivers from engaging in the behavior. Using a phone while driving isn’t the only type of distracted driving, though. Eating, grooming, loud music, and even other passengers in the vehicle are common types of distractions.
- Drunk driving: Drunk driving kills hundreds of people on the road every year in Texas. The legal blood alcohol limit for drivers in Texas is 0.08 percent, as it is in most states. It’s crucial that drivers don’t get behind the wheel when they’ve been drinking, as these accidents are some of the most preventable.
- Drugged driving: Unlike some other states, Texas has not legalized marijuana in most of its forms. Still, drivers use cannabis and other drugs and then get behind the wheel. Even prescription medication can cause someone to be liable if they are in an accident.
- Road rage: Road rage is a very dangerous driving behavior. When people become upset with others on the road, they often act irrationally. That can lead to serious accidents.
- Reckless driving: Excessive speeding, cutting people off, following too closely, and switching lanes erratically are just a few types of reckless driving. They are all very dangerous behaviors that can easily lead to a crash.
- Speeding: Driving at high speeds doesn’t just cause accidents, it also increases the severity of them. Drivers must abide by the appropriate speed limit at all times.
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals: Traffic signs and signals are there for a reason. They make the roads safer by directing drivers on what to do. Sadly, not all drivers pay attention to them, or follow their directions.
When a driver engages in any of these behaviors and causes an accident, those injured can hold the negligent driver and their insurance company liable.
What Could Be Done to Reduce Crashes in Texas?
Legislators are trying to determine a way to stop the number of crashes and make the roads in Texas safer for everyone. House Bill 1287 was one such measure. This bill, which has received bipartisan support, would reduce the speed limit on roads that didn’t have a posted speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 25. It is still waiting on a vote in the full House of Representatives.
Additionally, Senate Bill 43 would make the use of a handheld device illegal while driving in Texas. Some cities in Texas, such as Austin, have already created their own similar law, but legislators want to make it an offense for anyone in Texas. Under this law, only hands-free wireless devices would be allowed, and drivers could face harsh penalties if caught holding their phone behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this bill hasn’t even been heard in the Senate yet, which is the first step to getting it passed.
Lastly, House Bill 4243 would change the Texas Transportation Code. This bill would change all references of “accidents” to “crashes.” The idea behind this bill is that the term “accident” implies the collision was inevitable, while the term “crash” indicates someone was at fault. It hasn’t had a hearing in the Senate yet, either.
Talk to a Texas Car Accident Lawyer Now
Clearly, auto accidents in Texas are fairly common. When they occur, it’s important that accident victims understand that when someone else was at fault, they could be entitled to compensation. These cases quickly become complex, however, so it’s important to speak to a car accident lawyer in Texas as soon as possible.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we know the disastrous effects of these crashes and we are dedicated to helping accident victims claim the compensation they need. If you’ve been hurt, contact us online for your free consultation.