According to a recent report by The National Safety Council, preliminary traffic fatality data from March 2020 shows that as Americans began driving less and covering fewer miles, the emptier roads became more lethal. Researchers compiled traffic fatality data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Researchers reported an eight percent decrease in the overall number of fatalities in March 2020 compared to March 2019. The number of miles driven also decreased by 18.6 percent compared to the previous year. However, the death rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven was 1.22 in March, up from 1.07 in March 2019. This represents a 14 percent increase in fatality rates per miles driven in March compared to March 2019.
Posts tagged "motor vehicle accident"
For the past six weeks, most Austin drivers welcomed the open roads throughout the city mainly due to recent COVID-19 lockdown orders. Fewer drivers on the road eased the city's congestion, allowing drivers to get to places much faster than times before the state's stay-at-home orders went into effect. While streets and traffic congestion seem to have largely diminished, car crashes resulting in serious injuries have spiked within the city's limits during this time.
Recent data shows that in comparing car crashes from March of 2019 to January and February of 2020, the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) found that serious injuries in car crashes have increased by 20 percent. The spike in serious injuries is extra concerning considering the total number of crashes that have occurred are actually down by 20 percent.
With the stay-at-home order easing up in Texas, it is no surprise people have taken this opportunity to resume the activities they haven't done in a while. Whether it's going out to eat or meeting with some friends, more people are on the road now than there have been in the last month. In the first week of May, there have already been multiple deaths on the road with some attributed to drugs and alcohol.
Since COVID-19 has kept most of us home and off the roads, you would think a decrease in the amount of deaths on the roads would occur. Unfortunately, the numbers show there has been a small change in vehicle-related deaths. The total number of deaths on Texas roads in March went from 305 in 2019 to 241 in 2020, a number that shocked most state officials - because driving is down more than 50% in the state.
March 16, 2020, marked a deadly night in the Houston-area resulting in three fatal hit-and-run crashes. A man pushing a bicycle was hit and killed at West FM 1960 near Humble. Authorities say the driver of a Chevrolet truck was speeding when he hit the victim, dragging him underneath and driving away. A constable patrolling the area chased down the driver, who was taken to jail. According to officials, the suspect showed signs of intoxication. The suspect was charged with DWI with a child passenger and failure to stop and render aid resulting in death.
A California jury awarded a young man $21.5 million for serious injuries he sustained in a car accident. The plaintiff, who was 18 years old at the time of the accident, was a passenger in a van that was rear ended by a pickup truck traveling approximately 55 mph just before crashing into the van. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries to his back, causing him to become paralyzed from the neck down.
At least one person has died on Texas roads every day since November 7, 2000. Fatalities are on the rise despite the Texas Department of Transportation's and the Texas Transportation Commission's efforts to "end the streak."
A Court of Appeals has affirmed a Travis County jury's award of over $5 million* in a premises liability claim against the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) after determining that TxDOT had adequate notice of the claim.
Houston area roads still suffered a significantly high number of deaths in 2019 and will likely pass 2018's total. A recent study examined the greater Houston area consisting of Harris County and the seven adjacent counties. In these counties, local police, prosecutors, and transportation officials had taken several new steps to address the causes contributing to the high number of deaths. As of now, this has not yet reduced the number of deaths, but officials believe the efforts are helping.