If you drive in Austin or anywhere across the Lone Star state, it’s essential to know how fatal crashes occur and how to avoid a deadly accident.
Although car accidents happen every day, serious collisions can result in severe consequences that may involve physical, emotional, and financial burdens for years to come.
Texas Car Accident Statistics
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT), there were 4,489 traffic fatalities and 239,539 injuries related to motor vehicle crashes across Texas in 2021.
Sadly, DUI-related fatalities remain a major problem for motorists in Texas. Last year, impaired driving accounted for nearly 24% of car-crash fatalities. Another significant contributor to crash fatalities was distracted driving. According to data from the DOT, nearly 500 people were killed due to distracted driving, including texting.
Across Texas, the leading causes of crashes in 2021 include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving in the wrong lane
- Failing to yield
- Aggressive or reckless driving behaviors
For the Austin metro area, 2021 saw an increase in crashes and fatalities. According to the DOT, there were 12,433 total crashes reported across the city and 113 deaths. Compared to other cities like Dallas or Houston, the numbers are comparatively lower, but Austin still boasts some of the state’s highest traffic fatalities per capita.
Avoiding Traffic Fatalities in Austin, TX
If you drive a car or a motorcycle in Austin, the best way to prevent a fatal crash is to avoid engaging in dangerous behaviors. The DOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warn against hazardous driving.
Should you get behind the wheel in Austin, you’ll want to be aware of the following risks:
Unprotected Left Turns
Left turns significantly contribute to traffic fatalities across Texas. In 2021, over 33,000 crashes resulted from motorists turning into unprotected lanes or at four-way intersections.
In many cases, unprotected turns can result in t-bone crashes, which are some of the deadliest roadway collisions. It’s essential to follow the rules of the road and yield accordingly. Although unprotected left-turn crashes account for only 10% of crashes nationwide, they result in over 20% of all crash fatalities, according to the NHTSA.
Distracted driving has been on the rise as one of the most dangerous causes of fatal accidents. The increase in car technology and handheld devices has been largely to blame for these crashes. In 2021, at least 82,000 Texas accidents resulted from driver inattention.
The likelihood of a crash increases whenever motorists take their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.
Some common examples of distracted driving include:
- Using a cell phone
- Changing the radio
- Operating a GPS
- Eating or drinking
- Personal grooming
In Texas, using a cell phone while driving is a serious legal offense that can result in citations and even criminal prosecution.
In 2021, there were nearly 600 speeding fatalities across Texas, making this one of the leading factors in traffic deaths. According to the National Safety Council, speeding is a factor in nearly 30% of all deadly crashes.
Cars and motorcycles are dangerous machines, and whenever they travel at high speeds, the risk of injury increases. If you drive in Austin, you can help keep yourself, other motorists, and pedestrians safe by following the posted speed limits at all times.
Preventing Traffic Accidents in Austin
No driver wants to be involved in a car crash, but there’s always the risk, especially if you live in a large city like Austin. Although Austin commuters expose themselves to potential fender benders and crashes each day, following the rules of the road and staying alert can reduce risks.
If you’ve been involved in a collision, contact an Austin car accident lawyer for help.