The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the federal government agency responsible for reducing vehicle=related crashes in the country. As part of its mandate, it collects data on traffic accidents and fatalities in all the states, including Texas. The good news is, as of 2013, the last year for which complete statistics are available, traffic fatalities are down in the state.
In 2013, 3,382 died in traffic related incidents, which is down from the 3,408 fatalities in 2012, which is equal to a ratio of 1.38 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven. This compares to a US ratio of 1.15. Urban areas were slightly more dangerous with 1,717 deaths compared to the rural fatalities of 1,665. The NHTSA estimates that 68 percent of the fatalities were restrained in Texas compared to 61 percent throughout the US. The agency estimates that 273 Texans would be alive if seat belts were used 100 percent of the time.
About 31 percent of the fatalities occurred in passenger vehicles, 18 percent were in light pickup trucks, 13 percent were in light utility trucks, three percent were in vans, and three percent were in large trucks.
Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities where the Blood Alcohol Count was at 0.08 or higher numbered 1,337. This is roughly 40 percent of the total fatalities in all crashes. This compares to 31 percent of all crashes shown for the entire country.
Of the 491 motorcyclist fatalities, 187 wore helmets and 279 did not. The NHTSA estimates that if helmet use for motorcyclists were at 100 percent, about 109 additional lives would be saved. The most dangerous age for motorcyclists is 40-49 with 123 fatalities. Next is 20-29 with 115, and 50-59 with 109.
For other fatalities, 480 involved pedestrians and 48 involved bicyclists.
The counties with the most fatalities, in descending order, are Harris County with 11 percent, Dallas County with seven percent, Bexar County with six percent, Tarrant County with four percent and Travis County with three percent.
If you want to avoid becoming part of the statistics for this year, follow these safety recommendations based on the NHTSA fatality statistics:
Do not drink and drive. Note the high percentage of fatalities involve drivers who are legally drunk. The percentage goes even higher if you take into account people only have some alcohol in the blood. If you’re going out for a night of drinking, always assign a designated driver. If you’re out drinking by yourself, take a taxi home and come back in the morning for your car.
Always wear a seatbelt. About eight percent of the deaths could have been avoided if people wore their seatbelts all the time.
If you are riding a motorcycle, wear a helmet whether you are the driver or passenger. Almost a quarter of all motorcycle deaths could have been avoided if all motorcyclists wore protective headgear.
These additional recommendations do not come from the NHTSA but are helpful in preventing accidents. Avoiding accidents is one way to keep your car insurance Texas as a State … affordable, need some insurance visit texasquotes.com.
Do not use your cellphone while you drive. Although there is no statewide law on cellphone use while driving, many localities prohibit texting while driving. But even if they didn’t, one in five crashes are caused by distracted driving, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. If you have a problem controlling cellphone use while you drive, store your phone in the trunk before setting off on your trip.
Maintain a safe following distance, especially in inclement weather. Give yourself enough distance to stop, in case the car in front does so suddenly.
Avoid drowsy driving. If you feel yourself getting sleepy while on the road, pull into a safe place, such as a parking lot and catch a few winks, so you’ll feel refreshed on the road.