In the state of Texas, accidents involving serious injuries or fatalities must be reported to law enforcement. When law enforcement is called to the scene of an accident or when officials investigate a crash, they will record information on who was involved in the accident and what caused the accident, as well as injuries and deaths. The Texas Department of Transportation compiles all of the information on accidents that occur throughout Texas and uses that information both to publish crash statistics and to track how accident statistics change over the course of the years.
The statistics on Texas car accidents provide invaluable information about the risk that drivers face when driving on Texas roadways. Car accident statistics are also used to set legislative policy by demonstrating what risks drivers face so that lawmakers can take steps to try to minimize and prevent those risks. Understanding Texas car accident statistics can also help people who drive in the state to learn about what the most dangerous behaviors are so that they can refrain from these risky practices.
Facts and Figures About Traffic Accidents in Texas
In 2011, 235.602 billion miles were traveled by vehicles on Texas roadways, which was 0.57 percent more miles traveled than during 2010. Many of the miles passed without incident, but in other cases, people who set out on their trip became involved in a Texas car crash. Unfortunately, these crashes can happen at any time, since there was not a single day during all of 2011 when no traffic-related deaths occurred.
According to the data published by the Texas Department of Transportation:
- In 2011, 1.28 deaths occurred for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled on Texas roadways. This reflects a 1.54 percent decrease in the deaths per 100 million miles in 2010.
- In 2011, 3,015 people died as a result of motor vehicle crashes in Texas. This reflects a 1.15 percent decrease from the 3,050 people who died in 2010 in the state.
- 57,919 crashes in Texas caused serious injuries in 2011. In these crashes, a total of 79,673 people were seriously injured.
- 211,006 people in Texas suffered some type of personal injury due to a motor vehicle crash in 2011.
Where and When Do Texas Car Crashes Occur?
Traffic accidents can happen anywhere in the state of Texas, although the chances of a crash increase in certain areas and in certain driving situations. For example:
- 56.8 percent of traffic fatalities occurred in rural areas. In total, 1,712 people died in rural crashes.
- 692 people were killed in accidents that occurred at intersections in 2011.
- The most deaths in a single day in 2011 occurred on Sunday, September 18, when 25 people were killed.
- April was the month with the most Texas traffic deaths, with 287 people dying in a crash during this month.
- One person was killed in a Texas crash every 2 hours and 54 minutes.
- One person was injured in a Texas crash every 2 minutes and 29 seconds.
- A reportable car crash occurred in Texas in 2011 every 83 seconds.
- DUI crashes were most likely to occur between 2:00 a.m. and 2:59 a.m., and were most likely to occur on Saturdays.
- 40 percent of all traffic crashes in 2011 happened in single-vehicle crashes in which a car ran off the road.
Types of Texas Traffic Fatalities
Injuries and fatalities can also happen in any type of accident. Even a low-speed crash can, for example, cause soft tissue damage orhead injuries due to impact with the air bag. However, certain types of accidents are more likely to cause deaths than others. According to the Texas Department of Transportation:
- In 2011, 419 traffic fatalities occurred in head-on collisions in Texas.
- 479 of the traffic fatalities were motorcycle riders in 2011. 51 percent of the motorcycle riders who were killed did not have a helmet on at the time of the crash.
- 419 of the traffic fatalities were pedestrians in 2011. This reflects a 17 percent increase in the number of pedestrians in fatal accidents as compared with 2010’s numbers.
- 46 of the traffic fatalities were bicyclists in 2010. This, too was, an increase from 2010 numbers: 7 percent more bicyclists were killed.
- 34.5 percent of those killed in Texas traffic crashes in 2011 were in accidents where one of the drivers was operating his or her vehicle while intoxicated. This means a total of 1,039 people who died were killed in DUI accidents.
Many of these fatalities could potentially have been prevented if either the driver had been more careful or if more people had worn seatbelts. In fact, 46 percent of those who died in Texas fatal crashes were not restrained at the time of the deadly collision.
In instances where a driver was at fault for causing an accident that harmed others, the person(s) who suffered injuries may have a legal right to make a claim for damages. The Texas car accident lawyers at Roberts & Roberts can assist accident victims in understanding their legal rights and can be contacted for a free consultation at 903-597-6000 or by filling out an online contact form.