Transportation

It’s Been Years Since Texas Has Had A Day Without A Traffic Fatality

TxDOT is starting a new awareness campaign as the state marks a somber milestone, using the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX.

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November 7, 2000 was the last day that no one was killed in a vehicle crash in Texas. Every day since, at least one person has died in a wreck.

TxDOT’s Becky Ozuna is directing a new social media campaign that calls attention to the deadly numbers. She says over 50,000 people have died on Texas roads over the past 15 years.

“That really puts that number in perspective when they’re coming one or two a day. People don’t really take note of that,” says Ozuna. “Many of these crashes they’ve been killed in are completely preventable.”

The biggest problem is drunk and distracted driving. Ozuna says in 2014, three out of every ten fatalities was caused by a drunk driver. That’s the last year statistics were available.

Over 480 deaths occurred because of some sort of distraction, like talking on the phone or texting. And those crashes don’t just happen on urban freeways.

“Texas has the largest rural population in the United States and many of these crashes are happening in rural areas, happening at intersections, because people are speeding, or they’re not paying attention,” says Ozuna.

Along with not drinking and driving, Ozuna says there’s a lot drivers can do to keep from causing a fatal wreck. Obey the speed limit and slow down when the weather’s bad. 

And if you instinctively grab your phone, put it somewhere in your vehicle where you can’t reach it.

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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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