Traffic

Texas has had car-related deaths everyday for 22 years. TXDOT is looking to change that.

There have been 3,374 roadway deaths in Texas since January of this year; and on average 11 people die everyday from roadway fatalities in Texas. 

Gail Delaughter/Houston Public Media
Traffic backed up on I-45 North Freeway

The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) is embarking on 22 years of straight daily car accident-related deaths since November 7, 2000. Since 2000, there has been a total of more than 79,000 Texans that have died on Texas roadways.

In an effort to reduce the number of roadway fatalities in Texas, TXDOT is raising awareness through its #EndTheStreakTXCampaign. The campaign aims to educate Texans on ways they can play a part in reducing road fatalities.

According to TXDOT as of October 20, there have been 3,374 roadway deaths in Texas since January of this year; and on average 11 people die everyday from roadway fatalities in Texas. Figures for 2021 showed the City of Houston had 327 fatalities.

Veronica Beyer is the Director of Media Relations at TXDOT. She said a lot of fatalities have to do with driver behavior and they want to encourage people to be safer on the roads.

“It’s something that we are not proud of, it’s unacceptable, but we do believe it’s something we can change together," she said.

TXDOT said in a press release most crashes and fatalities are preventable and caused by speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving.

"What we see is distracted driving, which can be a lot of different things," said Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan. "That can be your phone, makeup, it can be eating, it can be changing the radio, changing a podcast, picking something up off the floor, I mean, you name it," she said.

Beyer said more people need to take into effect that they're not the only ones on the road and people have to be mindful of their driving,

Every crash that's deadly involves a mother, a father, brothers, sisters, you know, it’s someone that someone knows," she said. "So it’s until it happens to you, people seem to not care."

In order to reach zero deaths, transportation officials say they’re focusing on the “four E’s” — engineering, education, enforcement, and empathy. That includes providing updated statistics, cracking down on reckless driving, and holding all drivers accountable.

Ryan says road design is also a big factor in terms of engineering.

“In all of our projects, as we design moving forward, we are looking at how we create increased safety on the roads.”

TXDOT has a goal to reduce fatalities in half by 2035.

TXDOT is asking Texas to help spread awareness by:

  • Make the best and safest decisions behind the wheel, don't drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; always obey traffic laws; always wear your seatbelt.
  • Post pictures on social media with this downloadable sign displaying the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX.
  • Share personal stories on social media of loved ones who have been lost in a crash and use the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX.
  • Follow @txdot social media pages and share the content we post.

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