Many agree there are few more beautiful places to live than Texas. However, Texas also has an infamous ranking among states with high fatality rates related to motor vehicle crashes. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists Texas with the second highest number of deaths in traffic accidents per 100,000 residents. An estimated 10 people die each day in Texas traffic accidents. This may be little comfort if your loved one was one of those statistics.
In the past 19 years, over 67,000 people have died in accidents across the state of Texas. This includes rural roads, highways and city streets. The rate of fatal accidents in this state exceeds the national average as well as the average for all but one other state. Despite pumping millions of dollars into safety measures such as improved conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians, wider roads, state-of-the-art guardrails and other plans, the rate of deaths continues to climb. Just last month, 250 people died on Texas roads.
Why the rise in deaths?
Some say that 90% of fatal accidents are preventable, and this may be true for the accident that took the life of your loved one. However, better engineering and expensive public awareness campaigns are not the answer if the actions of drivers do not change. If your loved one’s accident involved any of the following, you may feel the weight of the unfairness:
- Drunk driving: While the rate of fatal DUI crashes has dropped about 8% in the past decade, 25% of all fatal accidents in Texas involve alcohol.
- Driver error: Over half of fatal accidents in Texas happen on narrow rural roads where excessive speeds and reckless decisions leave no room for error.
- Speed: Safety advocates complain that state officials worry more about speeding up traffic to relieve congestion than about the protection of those on foot and on bicycles, who are dying at an alarming rate. Pedestrian fatalities in Texas rose 40% in the past 10 years.
- Distraction: Many fatal accidents occur when drivers allow cell phones, GPS programs and other distractions to keep them from focusing on safety.
These behaviors and the fact that more Americans are driving bigger, heavier automobiles increases the chances that you or someone you love will suffer needlessly from an accident. When this happens, you have the right to get to the answers you seek by enlisting the help of an attorney who will assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering and loss.