A state audit of traffic fatalities in Texas determined that since 2006, the number of deaths that were caused by a car accident has decreased by 15 percent. Furthermore, the reduction mirrors a trend across the nation. Keep in mind that a traffic accident lawyer is an important ally for victims of traffic accidents. An auto accident attorney protects the rights of individuals who are not receiving just compensation for medical expenses and vehicle repairs from the insurance companies.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses a formula featuring miles driven and death occurrences to weigh road safety. In 2010, Texas had 3,028 traffic related deaths. Furthermore, people in and through the state drove approximately 234 billion miles. When auditors calculated the state’s statistics using the administration’s formula, they found that Texas had 1.29 deaths for every 100 million miles that were driven. After auditors reviewed the traffic death statistics from 2006, they established that the rate of death was 1.5 for every 100 million miles driven in the state. Therefore, the rate decreased steadily from 2006 through 2010.
The Danger of Driving in Texas
Despite the recent traffic accident fatality decrease across the state, Texas is still a deadly place for drivers. During 2006, traffic fatalities fell across the nation. Specifically, the number decreased from 1.42 deaths for every 100 million miles driven in 2006 to 1.11 in 2010. Also, the nation saw 32,885 traffic accident deaths during 2010. In 2006, the deaths totaled 42,708.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a campaign urging seat belt use has increased the number of people using the safety device. In fact, officials reported that in 2011, people were using their seatbelts 94 percent of the time while 10 years earlier, that number was just 74 percent. The director of traffic operations for TxDOT, Carol Rawson, said, “We still have a lot of work to do to make sure all of these people are traveling safely.”
In 1994, the nation’s road fatalities numbered 40,716, and the number of deaths for every 100 million miles driven was 1.73. In every year since then, that number has decreased or remained level except for 2005. During that year, the rate increased by a small margin. In addition, the amount of vehicles out on the roadway went up by 33 percent. There was also a 20 percent increase in the percentage of licensed drivers. Auditors reviewed a state-by-state comparison from 2009. During the 2009 assessment, Texas came in as the 16th most dangerous state for motorists with Montana rated as the most dangerous state. Massachusetts was the safest driving state that year.
Reasons for Fewer National Traffic Related Death Numbers
Carmakers continue to improve the safety features of their vehicles, which is partially responsible for the decrease in traffic accident fatalities. However, drivers are also paying attention to risk factors. For instance, the public is becoming more cautious about driving while affected by alcohol or drugs. More people are wearing a seatbelt, and red light cameras along with sobriety checkpoints are being used more frequently.
Why the Traffic Fatality Rate is so High in Texas
When TxDOT officials reviewed the high vehicle death rate, they found that other states have stricter distracted driving regulations. Last year, Governor Rick Perry continued the trend of decreased legislation by vetoing a bill that would have banned texting while driving. A representative for AAA Texas commented on the state’s high traffic fatality rates and said, “Although we may be moving in the right direction in some areas. There are still far too many people dying on our roadways.”
When to Hire an Auto Accident Attorney
Drivers should consider hiring an auto accident personal injury lawyer when they have been involved in a traffic incident. Keep in mind that traffic accident lawyers frequently interact with insurance companies, medical professionals and injured people. Therefore, they have the experience to settle cases in an injured person’s favor.