New statistics published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) show almost 1,700 alcohol-related traffic deaths in Texas alone in 2014. These means that more than 45 percent of all fatality crashes in the state involved a driver with a BAC above .01. This total is more than any other state.
How do Texas fatalities compare with U.S. fatalities?
Nationwide, the NHTSA reports there were 9,967 people killed in crashes where at least one driver had a BAC above .08 in 2014. Of those fatalities:
- Sixty-four percent of the fatalities were intoxicated drivers.
- More than 2,750 people were passengers, occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists.
Of those almost 10,000 deaths, 1,446 died in Texas. This is over 14 percent of all traffic fatalities where the driver had a BAC over .08 in the entire country. Those 1,446 are 41 percent of all 2014 fatalities in Texas, which ties with Massachusetts and North Dakota for the highest proportion out of all states.
This is nine more deaths than 2013 – another year when Texas led the nation in alcohol-related traffic fatalities.
All Fatal Crashes Increased in Texas
Texas also had more fatality crashes overall than any other state, with 3,538 people dying on the state’s roads in 2014. This is, in part, due to the size of the state, the number of drivers and the average distance driven.
Nationwide, injury and fatality crashes declined over the past few years, according to Insurance Council of Texas. In Texas, however, the trend goes the opposite direction. Between 2010 and 2014, traffic fatalities increased 10 percent in Texas. Since 2011, injuries have increased by 12 percent.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the NHTSA say drinking, in addition to speed and seatbelt use played a role in many of the crashes.
How can I avoid alcohol-related accidents?
These statistics show make it obvious that the more you drink, the higher your risk of being involved in an alcohol-related accident. This is because alcohol slows down your response time in addition to making you more likely to take risks and make poor decisions.
While having a drink with dinner is unlikely to significantly affect your ability to drive several hours later, driving after drinking any more than that could endanger you, your passengers, and others on the road.
You can help prevent alcohol-related crashes by:
- Do not drive if you have been drinking
- Do not ride with friends who have been drinking
- Designate a sober driver
- Hail a cab or call a ride sharing service for a friend who drinks too much
This may seem dramatic but if your friend is intoxicated and plans to drive, take her keys. You may be able to save a life.
About the Law Office of Julie Johnson
Car accident attorney Julie Johnson helps victims and their loved ones who suffered serious or fatal injuries in alcohol-related car accidents get the compensation they deserve. Contact the Law Office of Julie Johnson at 214-290-8001 today to learn more about how we can work together to ensure justice is served.