Do you drive anywhere in Texas? Driving in the Lone Star State can be an experience that invigorates the senses, especially along rural roads and highways. Nonetheless, Texas car accidents do occur, and thousands of them happen in parts of the state that are heavily populated.
Texas has some of the highest incidences of car crashes of any state. According to Policy Genius, Texas is one of the top five car accident-prone states, ranking second to California. With Texas car accidents numbering in the thousands, the state’s transportation authority has taken concrete steps in revamping its motorway grids. The Texas Department of Transportation has also overhauled its interstate systems in response to the alarming number of car crashes.
Despite the efforts made by the state’s transportation authority, car crashes still abound in many areas. A look into the Texas car crash statistics can inform your driving decisions, particularly your exercise of caution behind the wheel.
Read on to get a more detailed look at Texas car accidents. The data is taken from the most recent statistics gathered by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Deadly Texas Car Accidents Have Remained Consistently High Since 2003
From 2003 until the time of writing, car accident figures in Texas have remained relatively unchanged, punctuated only by occasional drops. Texas car accidents peaked in 2020.
Texas Car accidents started at around 3,822 in 2003, decreasing incrementally for the next eight years thereafter. The year 2008 marked the lowest car crash count,with the Department of Transportation reporting less than 3,100 crashes in that year. This represents an estimated 20% drop in Texas car accidents over a period of eight years.
The decline in fatal car crashes ceased in 2012 when reported car collisions in the state shot up again by roughly 400 incidences. From 2012 until 2020, the number of fatal car accidents in Texas surpassed the 2003 figure of 3,822. In 2020, fatal car accidents in the state reached an all-time high of nearly 3,900 reported incidents.
Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas Led Other Areas in Texas Car Crashes in 2020
In 2020, the Lone Star State saw more than 350,000 total car accidents, based on the reports of the Department of Transportation. Three cities contributed largely to the total count — Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Of the top three cities, Houston had the highest incidences of traffic collisions, being the city of 58,167 car accidents. The Bayou City’s 2020 tally greatly outnumber that of the other two accident-prone cities in the state.
San Antonio recorded 33,381 car accidents in 2020, dwarfing the statistics in Dallas by a mere 2,000 incidences. With about 31,976 car accidents, Dallas ranked third as regards car collisions.
Two other areas are worth mentioning — Fort Worth and El Paso. According to the Department of Transportation’s 2020 data, these two Texas cities recorded nearly identical incidents — 12, 796, and 12,483 crashes, respectively.
Speeding, Unsafe Lane-Changing, and Driver Inattention Were the Most Common Causes of Texas Car Accidents
Based on the Department of Transportation’s 2020 statistics, more than 20 factors led to car crashes. Of these identified factors, three were seen to be the most prevalent — speeding, unsafe lane changes, and inattention.
Speeding was the most common cause of car accidents across the state. The total number of accidents due to failures to control car speed was more than 113,000. Among the 113,000 speed-related crashes were 22,279 crashes that hospitalized passengers and drivers.
The second most common contributing factor was driver inattention. In 2020, the Department of Transportation tallied more than 70,000 inattentive drivers who crashed into other vehicles. Many of these crashes were recorded to have taken place on busy streets.
Unsafe lane changing was also a prevalent contributing factor, leading to more than 33,000 car accidents across the state. These crashes were more common on urban roads than on rural roads.
What About DUI?
In 2020, 23,157 crashes were the result of intoxicated drivers. Dallas had the highest incidences of DUI-related crashes, based on the most recent statistics from the Department of Transportation. Dallas led other cities in DUI crashes with nearly 2,000 reported incidents.
DUIs also led to nearly 1,000 fatalities. The county that recorded the greatest number of deaths due to intoxicated driving was Harris where 132 died in DUI-related crashes.
What the Numbers Say: Drive Safely and Sober, Especially on Urban Roads
Beneath the numbers is the importance of exercising caution behind the wheel in Texas. By being careful on the roads of the Lone Star State, you will save yourself from being another statistic.
Texas car accidents do occur. However, exercise caution while driving on busy streets, and you will be driving the Texas Way.