Causes of fatal traffic accidents in Texas


In Texas, traffic fatalities are a sad fact of life. On average, in 2015 a person was killed in an accident every 2 hours and 29 minutes. In that year, not a single day passed without a traffic fatality.

A fact sheet prepared by the Texas Department of Transportation shows that in 2015:

  • 1,255 people died in single, run off the road accidents
  • 807 people were killed in crashes in intersections or related to intersections
  • 581 people died in head-on collisions
  • 550 pedestrians died
  • 476 people were killed in accidents involving distracted driving
  • 459 motorcyclists and passengers died
  • 51 pedal cyclists were killed

All told, a total of 3,531 people* died on our highways, roads, and streets in 2015. The economic losses sustained as the result of these accidents totaled a staggering $37.8 billion.

What are the major causes of fatal accidents in our state?

Disturbingly, most if not all of these accidents involve negligence of some type. The single biggest cause of fatal accidents in Texas is improper or erratic lane changing. Regarding this type of behavior, Texas drivers rank fourth in the nation. Though attributing a specific cause to an accident is a difficult undertaking, the Texas Department of Transportation compiled these statistics regarding the causes of fatal accidents in 2015:

Driver Behavior Number of Units Involved
Improper lane-changing 540
Under the influence of alcohol 505
Speeding or under the speed limit 412
Failure to yield 308
Attempt to evade police 300
Use of alcohol 208
Under the influence of drugs 223
Running a stop light or stop sign 194
Driver inattention 144

Family members of people who have died in a fatal traffic accident may be able to claim compensation. They should speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney concerning their legal options as soon as possible.

* Note: the bullet-pointed categories are not discrete. For this reason, the sum totals more than 3,531.

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