Late last week, Austin American Statesman writer Ben Wear had a great story on auto accident fatalities.
The good news: a Texas Department of Transportation report found that traffic fatalities in Texas have decreased by almost 15 percent since 2006.
The bad news: Texas is still significantly more dangerous than the United States as a whole.
There’s also a catch. The improvement numbers are based on number of deaths per miles driven. In 2010, Texas saw 3,028 traffic deaths, equating to 1.29 deaths per 100 million miles driven. In 2006, the death rate was 1.5 deaths per 100 million miles driven. I haven’t been able to find raw data on the actual number of traffic fatalities in 2006, but given the states’ increased population growth and increasing miles driven, I am guessing that the actual number of deaths were pretty similar for both years.
The other bad news: There wasn’t a decline in highway deaths 2011. The number of US highway traffic fatalities decreased for much of the country, but the numbers for Texas stayed flat.
Generally, the number of deaths should be decreasing. Vehicly safety has improved significantly; people are getting better about wearing seat belts; there is increased awareness about drunk driving and distracted driving.
One reason that Texas may not be improving as much as the rest of the country is the trucking industry. With I35 being a huge trucking corridor and the increased number of trucks in the South Texas area due to the resurgence of the oil and gas industry in Eagle Ford shale areas, Texas has a disproportionate number of trucks and big rigs on the road, increasing the likelihood of fatal accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a traffic accident, please allow us the opportunity to help by calling (512)476-4944 or submitting a case using the forms on this site.
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