Car accident rates were up considerably in 2020, and some states were more dangerous than others. It may come as no surprise to you that the Great State of Texas was right up there with the most dangerous states of all. If you’ve been injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, protect your legal rights by seeking the professional legal counsel of an experienced Texas auto accident attorney.
What’s In This Guide
Car Accidents in 2020
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares that, in 2020, 38,824 people were killed in traffic accidents in the United States, and this is the highest number since 2007. Additionally, all the following national statistics apply:
- 2020 experienced a 6.8 percent increase in overall traffic fatalities over 2019.
- The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also increased by 21 percent over 2019, which is the largest increase ever recorded.
- Fatalities related to speed, impairment, and failure to use a seatbelt increased in 2020.
- Forty-two states and the District of Columbia all experienced increases in traffic fatalities in 2020.
Car Accident Statistics by State
NHTSA reports on how the states ranked statistically in 2020, and the State of Texas has the distinction of having the single largest increase for fatal traffic accidents of all, with a total of 255 more than in 2019. Seven states and Puerto Rico had fewer fatalities in 2020 than in 2019, and New Mexico saw the most significant decrease (excluding Puerto Rico) with 27 fewer deaths. North Dakota was the only state to experience no change. Additional car accident statistics by state shared by NHTSA include:
- Texas tied with both Rhode Island and Maine for the dubious distinction of having the second highest percentage of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in 2020 (with 39 percent). Only Rhode Island ranked higher with 42 percent.
- The national average for alcohol-impaired driving fatalities was 30 percent.
- Utah, Missouri, and the District of Columbia all tied for the lowest rate of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities with 21 percent.
- Colorado and South Carolina saw the most fatalities related to speed in 2020, with 46 percent. The District of Columbia and Hawaii ranked second with 44 percent.
- Texas ranked right up there with 37 percent for speed-related fatalities.
- The national average for speed-related fatalities in 2020 was 29 percent, and Florida was by far the lowest with 9 percent.
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Categories of Negligence
Car accidents are typically caused by driver negligence, which comes in far too many dangerous categories.
Distracted drivers fail to pay attention to what they should be focusing on – sharing the road safely with others on it – and, in the process, they often cause life-threatening accidents. While there are no safe distractions, texting is the most dangerous of them all. When motorists text, they engage their thoughts, sight, and hands, which means they combine every category of distraction into one blowout distraction that NHTSA calls the most alarming distraction of all. In the five seconds that it takes drivers on average to type or otherwise engage with a text, they travel about the length of a football field (when hitting highway speeds), which is a pretty solid example of why texting behind the wheel is an exceptionally dangerous practice.
As the statistics above show, impairment is a real problem on our roads. Alcohol reduces drivers’ brain functioning, which impairs their ability to think, reason, and coordinate their muscles – all of which are naturally critical to driving safely. Drunk drivers are some of the most dangerous drivers on our roads, and far too many motorists refuse to give this life-threatening practice up.
Drowsy drivers can experience impairments that are similar to those experienced by drunk drivers, and the results are not good. The data for accidents caused by drowsy driving is difficult to obtain because it’s exceptionally difficult to prove, but the dangerous effects of driving while under the influence of exhaustion is well established. This is a primary reason why professional drivers like truckers are held to exacting restrictions in terms of the number of hours they can spend behind the wheel
When drivers feel the need for speed, they make our roadways considerably more dangerous for everyone who travels on them. Excess speed is a primary cause of accidents, and the higher the speed involved, the more likely the accident is to be deadly. Additionally, it’s not enough to follow the speed limit – drivers are responsible for adjusting their speed in response to the road’s condition, including in response to the effects of bad weather.
Aggressive drivers seem to have a grudge against the road itself. While the primary pillar of aggressive driving is speeding excessively, aggressive drivers often combine multiple dangerous driving practices in any given trip. Consider all the following examples:
- Darting in and out of traffic
- Ignoring traffic lights, signs, and signals
- Speeding through road construction
- Using foul language, taunts, and obscene gestures to engage other drivers
- Flashing the car’s headlights and honking its horn
- Changing speed erratically
- Cutting in front of other vehicles
- Refusing to yield the right of way
- Passing illegally
Aggressive drivers are a special brand of dangerous, and you should always allow them as much room on the road as you can. If you believe it’s warranted, it’s also a good idea to alert the authorities when it is safe to do so. You could help get a deadly driver off the road.
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Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorney Today
The distinguished Texas car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm are on your side, here to help, and well prepared to skillfully advocate for your claim’s optimal outcome. Your fullest recovery is important to your future, so please don’t delay contacting or calling us at 361-400-2036 for more information today.