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Texas Sees Improvement in Motor Vehicle Safety

For the year 2009, Texas saw an improvement in the number of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities according to the Texas Department of Transportation. The fatality rate on Texas roads declined 9.46 percent from 2008 to 2009. The number of fatal motor vehicles was down, as well. In 2008, Texas reported 3,477 deaths due to car crashes. The following year, motor vehicle fatalities dropped to 3,089, representing a decrease of 11.16 percent. Part of the reason for this could be that Texans traveled less in 2009 than the previous year. Annual vehicle miles traveled dropped by 1.76 percent in 2009.

Details Reveal Interesting Statistics

Further review of the Texas DOT's statistics revealed some interesting facts. More fatalities occurred on rural roads than metropolitan highways. Rural traffic crashes accounted for 54.5 percent of road deaths in 2009. The large size of Texas and its numerous rural roads no doubt had an effect on this. The deadliest type of accident? Single-vehicle run-off-the-road crashes caused 40 percent of all motor traffic vehicle deaths. Roughly half as many fatalities occurred at intersections, and slightly less than that were due to head on collisions.

Seat Belt Usage and Alcohol Both Major Factors

Not surprisingly, failure to use seat belts played a large role in traffic fatalities. Approximately 47 percent of traffic deaths in 2009 involved drivers or passengers who were not restrained. Alcohol usage was also a major factor. Almost 31 percent of traffic deaths involved a person who was driving under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol-related crashes happened more on Saturday than any other day of the week, with the time period from 2:00 a.m. to 2:59 a.m. accounting for the most motor vehicle collisions due to drinking.

Accident Statistics for Bikers, Bicyclists, and Pedestrians

Results for motorcyclists revealed that of the 432 bikers killed in 2009, 60 percent were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Fatalities among bicyclists increased two percent from 2008 to 2009. Pedestrian deaths dropped from the prior year. The 347 pedestrian fatalities in 2009 represented a decrease of 22 percent from 2008. There were 235,280 persons injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2009. Of these, 80,640 people were classified as having serious injuries, which usually require medical treatment.