There are hundreds of thousands of motor vehicle collisions in Texas every year, although the exact number fluctuates. Every year, the Texas Department of Transportation compiles information about all of the collisions reported.
Researchers look at the outcome of each crash, the factors that contributed to the crash and even the location where it occurred. All of that information helps guide policymaking and law enforcement priorities. The goal is to reduce the number of crashes.
There are certain trends that are impossible to ignore when looking at what issues are to blame for the crashes that occur each year in Texas. There are four causes that stand out among the dozens included in the 2021 report from the Texas Department of Transportation.
1. Unsafe speeds
The state blames inappropriate speeds for a large number of crashes and even has three separate categories reflecting this particular crash cause. The DOT reports that there were 27,293 crashes caused by unsafe speed, 2,605 by speeding and another 134,125 resulted from a failure to control speed.
Driver distraction was listed as the reason for 12,536 crashes. Driver inattention was listed as the reason for another 82,705 crashes.
3. Chemical impairment
There are also multiple different categories of causes related to chemical impairment. Drivers under the influence of alcohol caused more than 25,000 crashes, if you combine the “had been drinking” category with the “under the influence” category. There were thousands of other crashes related to drugs.
4. Unsafe maneuvers
Over 42,000 crashes in 2021 were the result of someone changing lanes when it was unsafe to do so. They were more than 21,000 crashes caused by ignoring a traffic signal and 14,000 related to traffic lights and stop signs that people ignored. Weaving out of a lane caused nearly 46,000 crashes, and failing to yield was responsible for tens of thousands of collisions in 2021. Following too closely and improper turns were also responsible for many crashes.
Drivers who recognize and avoid obviously unsafe driving habits can minimize their personal risk of a wreck. Learning more about Texas car crash statistics can help those who want to make safety their top priority on the road.