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September 15th, 2010

Texas Records Substantial Drop in Accident Fatalities, but Miles to Go

The Department of Transportation delivered good news last week.  There has been a significant drop in highway accident fatalities in the US.  In fact, these numbers are at their lowest levels since the 1950s.  There has been a 9% decline in highway fatalities in 2009 over 2008.

As good as that news was, there was even better news for Texans.  Our state leads the way in the decline, with Texas recording the biggest drop in highway fatalities in 2009, compared to 2008.  There’s no doubt that Texan motorists are safer now than they have been for several years.  Not only are highway fatalities down, but motorcycle accident and DUI fatalities are also on the decline.

What do we credit for this substantial decline?  There’s no doubt that safer cars have much to do with it.  Americans are much less likely to be killed even in serious accidents, because of seat belts and side airbags.  They’re less likely to be involved in collisions because of electronic stability control systems, which are now standard in almost all automobiles.  Besides, except for some pockets of Texas, there has been much success in controlling DUI accident rates.  Sobriety checkpoints, unfortunately, continue to be illegal in Texas, but law enforcement agencies are doing the best they can to enforce anti-DUI laws.  More Texans are buckling up than ever before.  Even rear seat passengers are buckling up more, thanks to a new rule that went into effect this year.

As Houston car accident lawyers, however, we believe there’s a lot more that we could do to save more lives every year.  For instance, we could do a better job of preventing accidents related to distracted driving.  It’s not just distractions from cell phones and texting at the wheel that we’re talking about, but also other distractions, like snacking or conversations with fellow passengers.  Even something as simple as driving with your pets can be distracting enough to increase the risk of an accident, as this Atlanta car accident lawyer tells us.  Less distraction, and more attention paid to the road will keep everyone safer.

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