The overall number of traffic fatalities have been on the decline over the last few years. In 2019, for example, Texas saw a 1.15 percent decrease in traffic fatalities from 2018. Yet, there were still 3,610 deaths and 256,338 injuries (15,843 of which were serious) statewide during that year. Out of those:
- 886 were caused by drunk driving
- 337 were caused by distracted driving
- 613 deaths and 14,405 injuries occurred in truck accidents
Texas traffic fatalities increase in 2020
At first glance, one might assume that the numbers have dropped even more during 2020 due to fewer people traveling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some states, that may be true. Texas was one of the eight states that had fatality increases of more than 35 deaths during the first eight months of 2020 (in comparison to the same period in 2019.) In Texas, the increase was 99 deaths, according to preliminary data released by the National Safety Council.
This is only preliminary data. Until the actual data is released, we won't know the total number of traffic fatalities. It should be no surprise that Texas was one of the states with an increase in traffic fatalities. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, the Lone Star State has not had a single day when there hasn't been a traffic fatality in 20 years.
Speeding and reckless driving to blame for fatal crashes in 2020
During the same period, the overall number of miles driving decreased by 15.3 percent across the United States from the same period in 2019. That's due to the social distancing guidelines set forth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even after many restrictions have been loosened, things haven't truly gone back to normal. There are still many people working from home or out of work. There are also many events and recreational activities that have been canceled. That means, there may still be fewer people driving than previous years.
While reduced traffic may sound like it would make for safer roads, this year has proven the opposite. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there may be fewer crashes in 2020, but they have been more severe. This is due to the increase in speeding and reckless driving, with some drivers clocked at speeds greater than 100 mph.
With fewer cars on the road, some daring drivers take the opportunity to travel at dangerous speeds. In most cases, the only thing stopping them is traffic congestion.
Contact a Fort Worth attorney to handle your car accident case
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a crash caused by someone else's recklessness, you have the right to pursue legal damages. An experienced Fort Worth car accident attorney at Coby L. Wooten, Attorney At Law, P.C. can investigate your crash and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
You may be dealing with a long recovery, costly medical expenses and months of lost wages. On top of that, you may be dealing with mental and emotional anguish. Attorney Coby L. Wooten can help you recover every dollar in compensation for your financial losses and non-economic damages. To learn more, contact us online and set up your free case evaluation.