Second Deadliest Year on Record for Texas Roads
As of November 7, 2021, Texas reached its 21-year mark of daily traffic fatalities. 2021 was the second deadliest year on Texas roads with more than 4,480 deaths. The deadliest year being 1981 with 4,701 fatalities.
In response to these rates, TxDOT launched the #EndTheStreakTX campaign in 2015. The goal of this campaign is to lower the number of deaths that occur on Texas roadways by raising awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence, distracted driving, and speeding.
While the goal of ending Texas’s streak of deaths may seem impossible, Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan believes it can be done.
“We stick with it,” Ryan said. “We keep telling the story. We keep encouraging people. We fight back when people say personal responsibility is not a thing. I’m hopeful that it will happen sooner than later. But I am confident that it will happen.”
Many fatalities are preventable. Fatal accidents are often caused by things like drunk driving, speeding, and distracted driving. According to Ryan, last year 1,219 people were killed because they weren’t wearing their seatbelt and 1,522 people died due to speeding.
“Each of us has the power to make a difference,” Ryan said. “Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, watch your speed, talk and text later and never behind the wheel. Buckle up every rider, every ride. We can end this streak, Texas. It’s a shared responsibility. It’s literally in our hands. Let’s not let another Texas family down.”
Along with the public safety campaign, TxDOT said it is working on making improvements to areas where drivers are more prone to crash. They are doing this by working with researchers to improve roadway design.