Transportation

Researchers See Spike In Deadly Traffic Accidents During Spring Break

Data shows many more accidents during the month of March near popular beaches.

New research shows a big increase in serious traffic accidents when Spring Breakers converge on popular Texas vacation spots.

After analyzing TxDOT crash data, researchers with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found the number of major accidents more than double during the month of March in Cameron County. That’s when thousands of students hit the beaches of South Padre Island. In the Port Aransas region, crashes went up 70%.

TTI researcher Bernie Fette says there’s a big reason why those accidents happen.

“We saw an increase in all types of crashes, but the increase in serious injury and fatal crashes involving alcohol was an especially sharp increase.”

And Fette says there are also plenty of distractions when a young person is riding around with their friends.

“Those coming both from cell phones and also from the distractions created by other passengers in the car.”

And when you factor in the relative inexperience of college-age drivers:

“Before you know it, collectively, these factors add up to create a perfect storm.”

So what do you do to keep teens safe behind the wheel? Fette says peer influence can play a big role in altering unsafe behavior.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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