The Texas Department of Transportation has released the traffic accident data it collected last year, and it is shocking. 249,241 people were injured in vehicle accidents in Texas in 2018. 14,908 of these injuries were classified as “serious.”
A crash occurred every 58 seconds. One person was injured every 2 minutes 7 seconds. Every 2 hours and 25 minutes, a human being lost their life traveling on our state’s roads.
There were no deathless days on Texas roadways in 2018. A total of 3,639 people lost their lives. Single vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes resulted in 1,289 deaths in 2018. This was 35.42% of all motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2018.
940 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes where a driver was under the influence of alcohol. This is 26% of the total number of people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
701 people killed in crashes occurring in intersections or related to an intersection.
There were 548 people killed in head-on crashes.
398 people were killed in crashes involving distracted driving. This is a 12% decrease from 2017.
Slightly more fatalities in traffic crashes occurred in rural areas of the state than in urban or suburban areas — 54.99%. There were 2,001 deaths in rural traffic crashes.
What we can learn from this data is that it is impossible to be completely safe on our state’s roadways, no matter how good of a driver you are. Accidents happen, and very few of them are single vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes. It is therefore important to know what to do if you are involved in a car crash.
If you are in an accident, it is critical that you do three things:
1) Contact the police.
Even small accidents that you feel you should be able to handle on your own should be reported to the police.
You will be understandably upset and may say or do something you regret without a neutral third party on the scene. You may actually be in shock and not realize you or another person involved in the accident needs emergency medical attention. The police are trained to help people stay calm, and can recognize when an ambulance or a hazmat team should be called to the scene of an accident.
The police are also going to write up an accident report. Sometimes, this is the only evidence of fault available when insurance claims are filed.
2) Seek medical attention.
Maybe you don’t need to call an ambulance for a ride to the emergency room, but you should seek medical attention after an accident. Some injuries, like soft tissue damage, can get worse and cause problems later even if they don’t seem serious in the day or so after the crash.
3) Contact an attorney.
Soon after your accident, you should consult with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the insurance claims process and, if necessary, the legal system.
Despite the claims they make in their tv commercials, insurance companies are not on your side. They exist to make money, and in order to make the most money, they are going to low-ball you when you file a claim on your policy. Working with an attorney will help you dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s so you can hold your insurance provider to the terms it promised you.
If the accident involved multiple cars or was caused by poor road conditions, you may need to file a lawsuit to seek compensation from another person involved in the accident — or more likely, that person’s insurance company.
If you have been injured in a car accident, and you want to make sure you get the compensation you deserve to put yourself back in the position you would have been in if the accident had never occurred, the Sherman Law Firm is ready to take your call.