NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Today marks a grim anniversary, one that continues to serve as an important message for drivers.
For 19 years, every day Texas has documented at least one traffic death on a state roadway. TxDOT has logged nearly 67,000 deaths since November 7, 2000. That date is the last time there was a deathless day on Texas roads and TxDOT officials are sounding a strong alarm about the trend they want to see end.
“Everyday in Texas an average of ten people die on the roadway. What’s so tragic is they could prevent that most of the time,” said TxDOT spokesman Val Lopez.
TxDOT’s campaign called “End The Streak Texas”aims at educating drivers on preventable causes of traffic deaths.
“We see three factors that go into a majority of these deaths. It’s people speeding, distracted driving and people who are driving while intoxicated. So we’re basically asking motorists to do their part and end the streak,” explained Lopez.
In Tarrant County alone, MedStar officials reported 44 “dead on scene” cases in 2018. And in 2019, with only two months to go, the number is more than 30.
“We have a high prevalence of rollover crashes in this area compared to others because a lot of people are over correcting when they notice they are drifting,” said MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky.
Distracted driving is almost always the culprit for drifting, according to Zavadsky. He said simply focusing more on the road helps to lower the risk dramatically.
“You are looking ahead and doing things that you can prepare for the unexpected. That would be the best for you to avoid a catastrophe.”
TxDOT officials said within the next two years, they will spend $600 million on widening roads, adding additional striping and lighting, and installing new technology across the state.