On behalf of Randall D. Moore at The Law Offices of Randall D. Moore, PLLC
Given the fact that Texas is one of the most populated states in the country, it makes sense that there is a relatively high fatal auto accident rate, but the truth about these crashes is both sad and surprising. According to figures provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2012 (the most recent year for which relevant data is available), nearly 3,400 Texans lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents. That is a sharp increase over recent years, and it illustrates some sobering facts:
- On average, someone died from injuries sustained in a Texas automobile accident every 2 hours, 35 minutes.
- There was a motor vehicle accident-related injury every two minutes, 17 seconds.
- A reportable car crash (one in which police were notified) happened every 75 seconds.
- There was not a single auto accident fatality-free day in Texas throughout the entirety of 2012.
Causes of these tragic accidents
It would be much easier to quell the rising tide of fatal motor vehicle accidents if there was a single cause to focus upon. If, for example, all accidents were caused by drunk drivers, then increased DUI/DWI patrols by law enforcement agencies, higher civil and criminal penalties for driving under the influence, a lower blood alcohol content level for legal intoxication and increased public education and awareness about the dangers of drunk driving might very well address the issue. Unfortunately, there are myriad causes of fatal auto accidents, so it is more difficult for legislators and drivers alike to address them all. Common causes of Texas car and truck accidents include:
- Drunk driving (the Texas Department of Transportation reports that nearly 2,000 of the 3,399 fatal accidents in 2012 were alcohol-related)
- Distracted driving (particularly driving while texting or talking on a cellphone, a dangerous yet common practice in spite of legislative bans on handheld and hands-free cellphones for all drivers and texting for both novice drivers and those operating buses)
- Reckless driving (including driving too fast for conditions, failing to yield the right of way or violation of other important traffic laws)
- Driving while fatigued (studies have shown that “drowsy driving” can be just as hazardous as driving while intoxicated)
- Vehicle maintenance neglect or design defects
Making sense and moving on
Regardless of the reasons why the accident occurred, if you have lost a loved one in a Texas car crash, you likely have many questions. You are probably wondering why the accident happened, what could have been done to prevent it, if someone will be held responsible, how you will cover medical expenses and funeral costs, and how you will put your life back together and move on.
It may not seem like it right away, but there is hope after a tragic fatal accident. You will likely need help, though. While friends and family can give you moral support, consider contacting an experienced personal injury attorney as well. A skilled lawyer can handle legal issues (like transferring bank accounts, dealing with the insurance company and bringing a civil lawsuit to seek compensation for your losses) while you focus your attention on finding closure and moving forward.