Car Accidents

5 Leading Causes of Vehicle Crashes in Texas in 2023

Posted by Trent Kelly on May 5, 2023
5 Leading Causes of Vehicle Crashes in Texas in 2023

If you are driving in Texas, plan on buckling up. In a single year, 19,448 road users suffered serious injuries in the Lone Star State.

The car accident attorneys at TK Injury Lawyers would like to discuss the five leading causes of vehicle crashes and options for recovery.

Texas Roadway and Crash Statistics

In a recent year, the number of miles driven on Texas roads was 228.227 billion, an increase of 10.61% from the previous year. With an increase in travel comes a higher probability of vehicular crashes.

Some notable statistics include:

  • Although 19,448 people suffered serious injuries, 239,539 people were injured in traffic crashes
  • Single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes, resulted in 1,550 deaths (34.53% of all motor vehicle traffic deaths)
  • 613 people died in head-on crashes
  • 824 pedestrians died (15.24% increase from 2020)
  • 1,037 people were killed in crashes at intersections or related to intersections

As of 2022, Austin, Texas, surpassed its previous record for the number of fatal vehicle crashes. There were a reported 122 deaths in 2022 (the previous record being 120 deaths in 2021). This marks the highest number of deaths in a single year in four decades.

Common Causes of Vehicle Crashes 2023

Every 1 hour and 57 minutes, someone is killed in a car accident in Texas. Every 2 minutes and 12 seconds, someone is injured, and there is a reportable crash every 57 seconds. But why are accidents taking place so frequently?

The five leading causes of vehicle crashes in Texas are:

  1. Failing to Control Speed (134,125 crashes) – A driver who fails to control a vehicle’s speed can result in a driver colliding with another vehicle, object, or pedestrian. Under Texas law, failing to follow posted speed limits is negligence. Punishment can include a driving conviction and/or fines.
  2. Failing to yield right-of-way (97,133 crashes) – Both pedestrians and vehicles fail to yield the right-of-way to each other, contributing to a significant percentage of traffic deaths. In 2021, 2,379 pedestrians failed to yield the right-of-way to a driver, while 1,036 drivers failed to yield to a pedestrian. The problem has become so severe that the Texas Department of Transportation has launched a Pedestrian Safety Campaign to mitigate pedestrian injuries and deaths.
  3. Distracted or Inattentive Driving (82,705 crashes) – Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road. In 2021, 433 people died, and 2,934 people were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers.
  4. Failing to Drive in Single Lane (45,743 crashes) – There are a number of reasons that a person may drift from their traffic lane. A driver may be distracted, drowsy, intoxicated, or simply failed to check the vehicle’s blind spot.
  5. Driving at an unsafe speed (27,239 crashes) – In Texas, driving faster than 25 miles per hour over the posted speed limit is considered reckless driving. Texas Transportation Code §545.351 states that a vehicle operator may not drive faster than is “reasonable and prudent under the circumstances.” A driver is required to slow down if a hazard presents itself. This may be due to pedestrians, weather, or other roadway conditions.

Vehicle Crashes and Distracted Driving

Distracted driving plays a large role in vehicle accidents. When a driver is not giving his or her full attention to the road, mistakes are bound to happen.

Among the highest-risk distractions are:

  • Changing the radio station
  • Reaching for a moving object
  • Using a cell phone to text or talk
  • Eating and drinking
  • Grooming (i.e., combing your hair or applying make-up)

There are three forms of distractions:

  • Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
  • Cognitive: Taking your mental awareness away from your driving

Driving intoxicated is a prime example of distracted driving. Drunk driving covers two of the three forms of distracted driving. If you are driving while inebriated, your mind is not on the road (cognitive), and your vision is likely impaired.

Limit on Damages

In car accident cases, a plaintiff may be eligible to receive relief in the form of compensatory damages. Compensatory damages come in two forms, economic or non-economic.

Economic damages are expenses that already have a monetary value and are, therefore, easily quantifiable.

Economic damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Vehicle repairs
  • Rehabilitative equipment

Non-economic damages are expenses that do not have a specific price tag but affect the victim’s quality of life.

Non-economic damages include:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement

A plaintiff may also seek punitive damages with the intention to punish the defendant for his or her wrongful actions. If a judge or jury finds the defendant’s behavior to be malicious, they may award the plaintiff punitive damages.

According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 41.008, the damage cap for punitive damages may not exceed the following:

  • $200,000 or
  • Two times the amount of economic damages; plus an amount equal to any non-economic damages found by the jury, not to exceed $750,000

Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

In an attempt to save money on legal fees, a victim may try to represent themselves while pursuing a car accident claim.

In the long run, you will end up losing money if you do not hire counsel. A car accident lawyer is equipped to handle the following:

  • Documenting key evidence to prove your injuries
  • Determining the value of your claim
  • Negotiating a fair settlement

If settlement negotiations come to a standstill, a car accident attorney will advise you on what next steps to take. This may include continuing negotiations or taking your case to trial.

Contact an Austin Car Accident Lawyer

Even taking all proper precautions, accidents still happen. The car accident lawyers at TK Injury Lawyers are ready to help. We will conduct an investigation to better understand the circumstances of your case and determine what damages are due to you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


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