Earlier this week., the San Antonio Police Department identified the 43-year-old man who died after a vehicle crash on the city’s Northeast Side last Thursday morning. According to police, Christopher Hayslet was killed when he crashed his sedan into a dark-colored sport utility vehicle just before 7 a.m. on the I-35 north access road near Walzem Road. They say Hayslet was traveling eastbound on Walzem when he crashed into the SUV, which was traveling southbound on the access road.
According to the police report, a witness said the SUV may have run a red light at the time of the crash. There was also a passenger in Hayslet’s car, who was transported to Brooke Army Medical Center in critical condition. The SUV’s driver reported neck and head injures and was taken to a local hospital.
Unfortunately, the accident was just another in a series of what has become an all-too-common occurrence in Texas these days. Fatal traffic accidents have become an epidemic in our state.
Key Statistics Show Dangerous Nature of Texas Roads
For 2018, there were 1.29 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled in the state of Texas, for a total of 3,639 traffic fatalities for the year, While that constituted a 2.36 percent drop from 2017, when 3,727 traffic fatalities were reported, the state continues to be the deadliest state in the union for drivers. The last day without a fatality on Texas roads was November 7, 2000, a statistic that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) trots out with regularity to remind Texans to drive more safely.
There were 1.29 deaths per hundred million vehicle miles traveled in the state of Texas in 2018, for a total of 3,639 traffic fatalities that year. While that constituted a 2.36 percent drop from 2017, when 3,727 traffic fatalities were reported, the state continues to be the deadliest state in the union for drivers. The last day without a fatality on Texas roads was November 7, 2000, a statistic that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) trots out to remind Texans to drive better.
Throughout Texas in 2018, 548 people were killed in head-on crashes in 2018, while 701 Texans died in accidents that occurred at intersections. In all, one Texan died on the road every two hours and 25 minutes. While there was improvement over 2017, Texas drivers cannot become complacent. There were no days without a traffic fatality in 2018, which just continues the previous trend, as noted.
We All Have to Do Our Part
We still have a long way to go when it comes to reducing the number of deadly car accidents across the state and the numbers serve as a cause for significant concern. Texas crash statistics clearly indicate to state traffic officials and police have a lot more work to do in convincing drivers to take their time and pay more attention to their driving. That is one reason why police and state traffic experts are increasingly using these statistics to encourage drivers to be more cautious.
One of the biggest concerns among Texas traffic experts has to do with drivers being distracted and not paying proper attention to their surroundings. Distracted driving has become a major headache in the state because operating a vehicle requires the full attention and focus of the driver, and our fascination with gadgets often interferes with that. All drivers need to keep their eyes on the roadway and their hands securely on the wheel, which means there is no room for texting or playing with music or news apps.
However, there are other signs that Texas drivers are no doing all they can to protect everyone inside their car, let alone everyone else on the road. Of all the Texans killed in traffic in 2018, more than 43 percent were not wearing seatbelts at the time of their fatal crash. Mandatory seatbelts have been required under law in Texas for years; if more than 40 percent of Texans killed in accidents aren’t even doing that, it’s hard to place the blame only on drivers and Texas traffic safety officials.
Our state has a serious traffic problem. We have the most accidents and the most fatalities in the country and we all have to do our part to fix this problem. Make sure everyone in every Texas car is wearing a seatbelt and that every Texas driver is concentrating solely on their main activity, which is operating tons of metal on the roads with millions of others, and not paying attention to the gadgets pulsing and blinking around you.