Speed Is a Major Factor in Car Accidents, per Texas DOT
If you feel that the number of car accidents in Texas is increasing, you are not the only one. The number of car fatalities in Texas has increased to a level that the state has not reached in over 40 years.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) recently announced car accident fatalities in 2021 increased due to speeding. The organization revealed that 34% of total car accident deaths involved high-speed crashes. Last year, the majority of drivers involved in speed-related car accidents in Texas were males and young drivers between 16 and 34 years old. According to NBC 5 News, 1,522 people in speed-related car crashes last year.
Just how dangerous were the roads in Texas in 2021? Per Texas DOT:
- 239,539 people were injured in car crashes
- 19,448 people sustained serious, incapacitating injuries
- 4,489 people died in fatal car crashes
- 1,550 people died in single-vehicle, “run off the road” crashes
- 1,077 people died in collisions with drunk drivers
- 2,291 fatal car crashes occurred on rural roads
- 1,037 people died in intersection-related crashes
Last year was the second-deadliest year on Texas roads in history, NBC 5 News reports. According to Texas DOT, someone died on the road in Texas every single day.
What is Texas doing to stop drivers from speeding?
In fact, speed-involved car accidents have increased to the point that, in June, the Texas DOT instituted a program called “Operation Slowdown,” a program that ran between June 7 to 21. During Operation Slowdown, law enforcement agencies took additional time to write citations and spent extra time driving on roads to remind drivers what traveling at a safe speed looks like.
Due to this rise in car accidents, Texas DOT has also decided to incorporate several campaigns that remind drivers to drive safely. One of the organization’s campaigns include “Be Safe: Drive Smart,” a campaign that urges drivers to slow down and travel at a safe speed.
The Be Safe: Drive Smart and Operation Slowdown are key components of an even greater social media campaign known as #EndTheStreakTX. This is a social media effort encouraging Texas drivers to practice safer choices behind the wheel. It demonstrates a broader version of safer practices like wearing a seat belt, driving at a safe speed limit, and never engaging in dangerous activities like drinking and driving. The social media campaign is a proactive approach in ending the streak of daily deaths within the state.
Texas DOT and law enforcement agencies also offer the following safety tips for drivers:
- Match your speed to the conditions of the road or the work zone drivers through which you are traveling
- When traffic is heavy, slow down and allow for more distance to stop
- Stay alert for signs warning of reduced speed limits ahead
In addition to offering these safety tips, the campaign plans to show speeding awareness messages through radio, TV, billboards, gas stations and social media.
Why do people speed?
People speed for different reasons, most of them unacceptable and illegal:
Traffic congestion. Drivers who are in heavy traffic may choose to engage in aggressive driving. Drivers want to speed, cut other drivers off, and switch lanes unexpectedly to avoid staying in traffic for too long.
Time management. One of the biggest myths about speeding is that it allows drivers to get to their destination faster. Causing an accident or being stopped by law enforcement will not save time.
Thrill-seeking. The more drivers engage in speeding, the more often they become accustomed to the behavior. When motorists start disregarding traffic laws, it increases the chances of an accident.
The truth is, in many causes the “why” doesn’t matter when it comes to bringing a claim against a negligent driver. What does matter is the evidence which shows that another driver’s reckless behaviors are what caused your injuries.
How speeding influences other dangerous driving actions
Speeding can cause a driver to engage in other dangerous driving actions like:
- Tailgating (following too closely behind another vehicle)
- Failing to adjust one’s speed in inclement weather conditions like rain or snow
- Taking turns too quickly
- Driving fast in areas where there is high foot traffic
- Driving faster than recommended in areas with low visibility
What should I do if I’m injured by a speeding driver in Texas?
If you are injured in a crash with a speeding driver, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Some injuries can be exacerbated over time, so even if you think you’re fine,” you could have serious internal injuries or develop different symptoms within hours of the crash.
While you wait for medical assistance, you should call 9-1-1 and report the accident. Doing so ensures that there will be a police report of the incident, and this report may prove invaluable to your claim for damages later.
You should also take pictures – of your vehicle, of the roadway, of the other vehicle, and of yourself. If you can, take photos of your injuries over the span of a few hours, so that any changes are documented. If you cannot take the pictures or video yourself, ask a passenger to help you (or a medical professional, once you reach the hospital).
Eventually, you will need to contact your insurance company and report the accident, but it can wait until after you call for help. Your health, safety, and wellbeing are the most important things.
The Texas car accident attorneys at Slack Davis Sanger offer honest and compassionate legal representation when you or a loved one have been injured from a negligent driver. Look to us for unparalleled experience and assistance with your personal injury case. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Fort Worth, Austin, or Dallas, call 888-340-4028, or complete our contact form.
The firm handles cases involving catastrophic personal injuries and deaths. Our work spans three decades of handling airplane and helicopter crashes, truck and car accidents, oilfield and construction accidents, and other devastating accidents. We try lawsuits throughout the country in both federal and state courts and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients. To date, we have handled or tried cases in 47 states, read more about our attorneys and firm.