In Texas and throughout the United States, car accidents are among the leading causes of severe injuries and death. With Houston being the most populous city in Texas, it is unfortunately home to the highest number of collisions in the State.
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Houston Car Accident Data
Below is the 2020 data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on Houston car accidents:
A staggering total of 58,167 total crashes occurred in Houston.
There were 263 fatal accidents that caused 274 fatalities.
1,194 accidents were suspected to be severe.
Approximately 1,378 severe injuries were caused in car accidents.
4,444 non-incapacitating injury collisions, resulting in 5,939 non-incapacitating injuries (e.g., lacerations, lumps on the head, bruises, etc.)
An estimated 12,146 crashes potentially caused injuries.
18,649 possible accident injuries were reported.
36,803 property-damage only crashes.
3,317 collisions occurred and their severity was unknown.
108,525 non-injuries and 18,349 unknown injuries.
Crash data for Harris County, where Houston resides, revealed:
97,201 car accidents in total occurred.
466 fatal accidents that resulted in 501 fatalities.
1,960 crashes suspected of being serious.
2,315 suspected severe injuries.
6,990 non-incapacitating accidents resulting in 9,401 non-incapacitating injuries.
17,377 possible injury crashes.
26,535 potential injuries.
65,737 property damage only accidents.
191, 012 reported non-injuries.
4,671 crashes where the severity was unknown.
24,322 unknown injuries.
Texas, overall, experienced an increase of 18.94% in traffic fatalities in 2020. The fatality rate increased from 1.26 deaths per hundred million miles traveled in 2019 to 1.50.
Factors That Impact Highway Safety
Several leading factors impact road safety in Texas and contribute to the rise in motor vehicle accidents, including:
Failure to Control Speed
113,195 accidents in 2020 were caused by drivers who did not decelerate before a collision. It doesn’t necessarily mean they were speeding, but they did not react by braking to avoid the accident.
70,480 collisions were a result of driver inattention. There is a risk of a potentially serious or even fatal accident occurring when any activity takes a driver’s focus away from the road, even if for only a second. Some common examples include eating or drinking, changing the music, texting or talking on the phone, reaching for something, etc.
Drifting Into Another Lane
Drivers failing to remain in a single lane were responsible for 39,861 car accidents. When a driver drifts into another lane, the other driver has very little to no time to react, which can lead to a catastrophic collision.
Unsafe Lane Changes
Unsafe lane changes led to 33,849 crashes. Some examples of dangerous lane changes are not signaling before changing lanes, failing to check blind spots, crossing multiple lanes of traffic, etc.
Some other leading causes include failing to yield when making a left turn (26,688), failing to yield at a stop sign (23,225), ignoring stop and go signals (19,610), and driving under the influence of alcohol (14,178).