In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the crucial role that road design and infrastructure plays in the...
Texas Envisions a Future with Zero Traffic Fatalities and Serious Injuries – Is This Possible?Dallas-Houston HSR
The goal of reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero in Texas may seem ambitious, but is it achievable? Unfortunately, the statistics paint a bleak picture.
Texas Remains One of the Deadliest States for Traffic Accidents
Despite a 4% decrease from the previous year, the state still ranks third in the nation for traffic deaths, behind only California and Florida. Some statistics:
- In 2020, there were 3,722 traffic fatalities in Texas, which accounted for 10.5% of all traffic fatalities in the United States. (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://www.nhtsa.gov/press-releases/nhtsa-releases-2020-traffic-fatality-data)
- In 2020, Texas had the highest number of uninsured drivers in the country, with approximately 1 in 4 drivers on the road being uninsured. (Source: Insurance Information Institute, https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists)
- In 2019, Texas had the highest number of road accidents in the country, with over 500,000 reported accidents. (Source: Texas Department of Transportation, https://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/trf/crash_statistics/2019/01.pdf)
- In 2018, pedestrian fatalities in Texas accounted for over 15% of all traffic fatalities in the state. (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812489)
Rapid Population Growth and Lack of Public Transportation
One of the reasons for this high number of fatalities is the state’s rapid population growth. With more people living in Texas, the state’s roadways have become increasingly congested, leading to a rise in accidents. Additionally, the state’s lack of public transportation options and sprawling suburban areas have resulted in more people relying on personal vehicles, further exacerbating the problem.
High Number of Uninsured Drivers
Another factor contributing to the high number of traffic deaths in Texas is the high number of uninsured drivers. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the country, with over 25% of drivers on the road uninsured. This not only increases the risk of accidents, but also makes it difficult for injured parties to recover damages from at-fault drivers.
Insufficient Investment in Road Safety Measures
Finally, the state’s lack of investment in road safety measures also plays a role in its high traffic death rate. According to a report by the National Safety Council, Texas ranks near the bottom in terms of spending on road safety measures, such as bike lanes and pedestrian walkways.
Questions We are Left With
Can the state’s rapid population growth and lack of public transportation be addressed? Can the high number of uninsured drivers be reduced and the state’s investment in road safety measures be increased? Is it possible for Texas to achieve zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries?