Texas is one state that publishes traffic crash statistics in a timely way. Numbers for 2014 have been available since May; in some states, the most recent statistics are from 2013. In addition to being timely, Texas motor vehicle crash statistics are highly detailed, exploring the issue of road traffic accidents from every conceivable angle.
The 2014 statistics, published by the Texas Department of Transportation, include a highlights sheet with facts about road crashes in the state. The statewide accident statistics include:
- The rate of road crash fatalities (calculated by dividing the number of accidents by the number of miles driven) in 2014 was up 2.15 percent over 2013. The number of fatal crashes increased from 3,408 to 3,534.
- Most fatalities – 55.86 percent – occurred in rural areas of the state.
- There was at least one traffic death on Texas roads every day in 2014. On average, one person was killed every two hours and 29 minutes.
- One person was injured, on average, every two minutes and 13 seconds.
- Nearly half – 43.8 percent – of the people killed were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
- October was the deadliest month of 2014, with 351 killed.
- Of all people killed in motorcycle accidents, 50 percent were not wearing helmets.
- The rate of pedestrian deaths decreased slightly – by 1.4 percent – over 2013 numbers.
- The rate of fatal crashes caused by distracted driving increased by 4 percent.
- The rate of bicycle fatalities increased by 4.2 percent.
- The worst day and time for impaired driver crashes was early Saturday morning between 2 and 3 a.m.
- The worst holiday period for road fatalities was Thanksgiving, with 55 people killed on Texas roads in 2014. Thanksgiving and New Year’s are the longest holiday periods, defined at 102 hours. However, even though New Year’s was the same length as Thanksgiving, that holiday saw fewer fatal crashes – 42 in 2014.
Numbers for Harris County for 2014 include:
- Harris County motor vehicle crashes killed 418 people.
- Harris County had the largest number of road construction andwork sitecrashes in the state, with 2,805 in 2014. Dallas County and Tarrant County were second and third, respectively.
- In 2014, 101,699 crashes of all types occurred in Harris County. More than half of them, 60, 472, occurred in Houston.
- There were 1,633 DUI crashes in Houston in 2014 that caused 85 fatalities.
In general, Houston leads the state in both numbers and rates for road accidents. This is reflected in motor vehicle insurance rates, with Harris County at the top, according to an April story in the Houston Chronicle.