Driving under the influence, distracted driving, and speeding are the leading causes of serious car accident injuries in Texas.
Hundreds of thousands of Texas residents are affected by car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents every year. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2015, there was a crash somewhere in Texas once every 61 seconds. Unfortunately, crash data from localities shows that many of these accidents could be caused by dangerous or completely unneeded driver behavior.
Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving has been a leading cause of severe injuries in Texas for years. According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (1,446 people died in alcohol-related accidents in 2014). These deaths accounted for more than 40% of traffic fatalities in the state. This is significantly higher than the national drunk driving fatalities rate to overall deaths of 30.3 percent in 2014.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that Texas passed a 2015 law that required all DUI offenders to have ignition interlock devices. This law may reduce recidivism and possibly even prevent accidents. However, this may not be enough to address the danger posed by habitual drunk drivers and first-time offenders who have never been arrested.
Unsafe or Illegal Travel Speeds
In Texas, speeding is a significant factor in serious accidents. According to the TDOT, over 17,000 fatalities in Texas were caused by drivers who drove at unsafe speeds or violated speed limits. These crashes led to 398 deaths and more than 3,300 injuries. Drivers who could not control their speed to avoid collisions were also involved in more than 30,000 additional crashes that resulted in more than 3,000 injuries and 160 deaths.
Although speeding is not the most common cause of accidents in Texas, it can contribute to severe injuries and deaths. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers are less likely to react to dangers and have less control over their vehicles if they travel at higher speeds. High-speed crashes also release more incredible energy, leading to structural damage, vehicle injuries, and severe consequences.
According to data from DOT, distracted driving was a factor in over 105,000 Texas car accidents that occurred in 2015. More than 2,500 distracted driving accidents resulted in incapacitating injuries. At least 10,000 others resulted from milder injuries. Tragically, 422 people lost their lives in these accidents.
According to KXAN News, driver distraction is now a factor in approximately one in five Texas accidents. Unfortunately, several years of unsuccessful attempts to ban cellphone use while driving have led to the extinction of a state-wide ban. Although some cities have implemented local bans, these have not proven to reduce distracted driving accidents.
Reckless Drivers Held Accountable
These common accidents can lead to many Texas residents being unsafe and negligent drivers this year. If the victim of an accident can prove the fault of another driver, they may be eligible for compensation. A League City personal injury attorney can provide additional information to help victims understand the consequences of an accident.