TxDOT’s PUSH TO END 23 YEARS OF FATALITIES ON TEXAS ROADS
Roadway crashes have claimed at least one life every day for more than 20 years
AUSTIN – It almost happened. The long and heartbreaking 23-year streak of daily deaths on Texas highways almost ended. Almost.
On one day in February, Texas experienced a single traffic fatality – well below the average of 12 roadway deaths that occur daily on roadways statewide.
While fewer fatalities are worth noting, the sad fact remains that the streak of daily deaths has continued since Nov. 7, 2000. However, that momentary improvement illustrates that the push for engineering safety enhancements and public education can produce positive results. The harsh reality remains, however, that the deadly streak continues, and more than 83,000 people have lost their lives on roadways since 2000 records began.
“Each life lost means it impacts the life of family, neighborhood, and community for a lifetime, and we take safety very seriously as we work to end this horrible streak,” said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. “But it’s going to take all of us working together to get this done.”
TxDOT has committed to enhancing safety on Texas roads, investing $17 billion in safety improvements through the state’s 10-year plan. TxDOT has also developed new changes that may seem small but could have a significant impact:
- We are increasing the size of pavement striping from 4 inches to 6 inches. It enhances the visibility of striping on the roadways and encourages drivers to slow down.
- We are providing a wider centerline buffer between double yellow stripes with rumble strips or raised pavement markers on undivided highways to alert drivers when they cross the centerline.
- We are building innovative intersections like roundabouts, where appropriate, can decrease fatalities at intersections by 90%.
- We are implementing a “Safer by Design” program to give roadway designers a way to model safety performance from the most critical design elements used in projects.
Engineering, education, and enforcement will always be the key components of traffic safety programs.
While TxDOT builds engineering improvements, drivers can help keep themselves safe. For example, 48% of deaths on Texas roads are from people not wearing their seatbelts inside a vehicle. That one click can have a significant impact on fatalities. We are all responsible for keeping our roads and fellow drivers safe.
TxDOT is asking all Texans to do any or all of the following to raise awareness:
- Make the best and safest decisions behind the wheel; don’t drive under the influence of alcohol 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 of loved ones lost in a crash on social media and use the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX.
- Follow @txdot social media pages and share the content we post.
Together, we can save lives and end this streak of daily deaths.