In general, America’s roads and highways are dangerous. While cars today are considered safer and smarter than ever before, these improvements don’t take into account the human error that’s often behind Texas car accidents.
Drivers have become increasingly distracted on the road, not only by smartphones, but also by all the features that modern vehicles offer.
Data suggests that traffic fatalities in Texas in 2021 increased by 15% compared to the previous year. In addition, it was reported that 1,522 people died due to speeding, while 1,219 lost their lives due to not wearing a seat belt.
If you’re planning a family vacation or a long trip that involves hitting the road, here are some Texas car travel safety tips. No matter where you’re headed, safety is a top priority any time you’re on the road.
- Use seat belts properly
Every time you ride in a car, make sure that all passengers are buckled up and that the seat belts are appropriate for their age or size. It’s extremely important to use a seat belt, as it can save you and your passengers in the event of an accident.
- Install car seats correctly
Make sure all car seats are installed correctly, so that children traveling with you are in the right seat for their age and size. Remember that all children under 13 years of age must always be properly buckled into the back seat.
- Have a car emergency kit on hand
Even a well-maintained car can break down, so it’s recommended that you assemble an emergency kit to take with you. An extra cell phone tops the list, as it lets you call for help if needed. Here’s a list of items for you to consider adding to your road survival kit:
- Extra cell phone and charger
- First aid kit
- Flares and a white flag
- Jumper cables
- Tire pressure gauge
- Tire jack to change a tire
- Work gloves and a change of clothes
- Basic tools
- Water and towels for cleaning
- Non-perishable food, drinking water and medicines
- Windshield washer fluid
- Blankets, towels and emergency coats
- Stay alert
If you’re planning a long trip, we recommend keeping the gas tank almost full whenever possible. In addition, you should take a few minutes to rest, stretch, eat something, return calls, answer text messages and change drivers or rest if you feel drowsy.
Staying alert is very important, even more so when traveling on a highway. Accidents with large trucks are very common when a driver is distracted or drowsy.
- Avoid risky behaviors
To avoid behaviors that could endanger the lives of you and your passengers, be sure you’re not texting while driving or distracted while driving. You should also obey all posted speed limits.
In addition, it’s important to drive sober, both from alcohol and drugs (whether legal or illicit). That’s because they can impair your driving abilities and undermine safe and responsible driving.
Main causes of car accidents in Texas
Traffic accidents on Texas roadways occur quite frequently and their main cause is human error. However, if drivers understand the main causes, they can become aware of the changes they need to make in their personal habits to prevent car accidents.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Drug impairment
- Driver fatigue
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
- Allowing teenage to drive
- Rear-end collisions
- Car defects
- Dangerous roads
Car accidents caused by damaged or poorly designed roads in Texas
Although we’ve already discussed the most common causes of car accidents, it’s important to note that a poorly designed road is also very dangerous for drivers.
Poorly designed and constructed roads can contribute to serious motor vehicle crashes in Texas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a study investigating the critical reasons for traffic crashes, which found the following:
- Slippery roads with loose debris or ice caused 26,000 crashes.
- Road obstructions cause crashes.
- Poor road design caused 1,000 crashes.
- Not having good signage caused more than 1,000 crashes.
Federal, state, local governments and contractors have a duty to design, build and safely maintain the roads you travel on.
Texas car accident statistics
At the city level, it’s clear that the most populated areas of Texas suffer the highest number of accidents. Data suggests that 76.29% of accidents occurred in cities. In fact, one of the most affected areas was Houston, with 12.8% of the total number of crashes in the state, while San Antonio ranked second with 8.37% and Dallas in third with 6.43%.
The main factors contributing to crashes in urban areas include:
- Inattention/distracted driving
- Failure to yield
- Following too closely
- Not driving in a single lane
Who should you call after getting into a car accident on a Texas roadway?
It’s impossible to predict when an accident will happen that will impact your entire life. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the state of Texas, don’t hesitate to file a claim for compensation to help with your current and future expenses.
Are you in a similar situation? Talk to an experienced car accident attorney at the George Salinas Injury Lawyers. Remember that the first consultation is free and we can guide you on the right legal path.
Getting legal assistance may seem expensive, but at George Salinas Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means if we don’t win your case, you don’t pay us.
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