How Common Are Car Accident Fatalities in Corpus Christi?

With Texas DOT statistics showing more than 3,300 fatal car accidents in a year across Texas, Corpus Christi and Nueces County residents might wonder how often people are killed in car accidents in their home on Texas’ Coastal Bend.

The most recently published TX DOT Texas Motor Vehicle Crash Statistics report shows 36 fatal accidents and 40 fatalities in Nueces County in 2018. That equates to a fatal motor vehicle accident happening here about every 10 days. Corpus Christi is a dangerous place to drive.

Comparing Fatal Car Accident Rates in Corpus Christi and Texas

Stated another way, 36 fatal car accidents a year in Nueces County is 9.96 fatal accidents per 100,000 population. This figure, based on a 2017 Nueces County population of 361,221, allows us to compare the fatal accident rate in Corpus Christi to the rate in other Texas counties, which provides a better picture than raw numbers do.

For example, Harris County (Houston), Texas’ largest county, had 368 fatal car accidents in 2018 or, based on a 2017 population of 4.65 million, 7.9 fatal car accidents per 100,000 population.

More appropriate comparisons might be a made with counties that have populations similar to Nueces County, such as:

  • Brazoria County (Angleton), another Gulf Coast county. 31 fatal car accidents in 2018 and a 2017 population of 362,457 mean a rate of 8.55 per 100,000 population.
  • Bell County (Belton). 28 fatal car accidents in 2018 and a 2017 population of 347,833 mean a rate of 8.04 per 100,000 population.
  • Galveston County (adjacent to Harris County / Houston). 37 fatal accidents in 2018 and a 2017 population of 335,036 mean a rate of 11.04 per 100,000 population.
  • Lubbock County. 24 fatal accidents in 2018 and a 2017 population of 305,225 mean a rate of 7.86 per 100,000 population.

While fatal car accidents appear to be a little more common in Nueces County than they are in comparably sized counties (excepting Galveston), they occur less often in Corpus Christi than they do statewide. Across Texas, with a 2017 population of 28.32 million, the 3,303 car accident fatalities in 2018 equate to 11.66 per 100,000 population.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which counts motor vehicle accident deaths, show that Texas had the most fatalities of any state in the union in 2018 and was second only to California in 2017.

Where Do Corpus Christi Car Accident Fatalities Occur?

The Texas DOT also provides a breakdown of the types of roads on which fatal car accidents occur. For Nueces County, the TX DOT report shows fatal accidents in 2018 on:

  • Interstate highways, such as Interstate 37 in Corpus Christi (6 fatal accidents, 7 deaths, all in urban areas)
  • U.S. and Texas state highways, such as U.S. 181 and TX-358 in Corpus Christi (11 fatal accidents, 11 deaths; 3 accidents and deaths in rural areas, 8 accidents and deaths in urban areas)
  • Farm to Market roads, such as FM 624 in Corpus Christi (6 fatal accidents, 9 deaths; 3 accidents and 5 deaths in rural areas; 3 accidents and 4 deaths in urban areas)
  • City roads, such as 3rd Street or Craig Street in Corpus Christi (13 fatal accidents, 13 deaths; 3 accidents and deaths in rural areas, 10 accidents and deaths in urban areas).

“Farm to Market” roads are secondary roads of a style unique to Texas. They are narrower and more winding, as they connect rural areas to city markets and reportedly make up well over half of the Texas highway system. Some FM roads are officially known as RM, or ranch-to-market roads because, when they were built in the 20th century, local ranchers objected to being called farmers by implication, according to veteran journalist Paul Burka and Texas Monthly.

Leading Causes of Fatal Car Accidents in Texas

The majority of Corpus Christi car accidents are caused by drivers who make driving errors, drive carelessly, or disregard traffic safety laws.

The NHTSA says speeding is involved in approximately a third of all motor vehicle fatalities. Texas DOT statistics depict how vehicle speed contributes to car accidents several ways. Statewide in Texas in 2018, there were:

  • 440 fatal accidents caused by unsafe speed
  • 494 fatal accidents due to failure to control speed
  • 219 fatal accidents caused by exceeding the speed limit, or speeding.

Among 251 Texas fatalities caused by speeding in 2018:

  • 133 were the speeding driver
  • 56 were people in other vehicles that were not speeding
  • 47 were passengers in speeding vehicles
  • 11 were pedestrians
  • 4 are listed as “others killed.”

Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — one person every 50 minutes and more than 10,000 per year, according to the NHTSA.

The Texas DOT says there were 513 fatal crashes caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol in Texas in 2018. Of 1,243 fatally injured drivers tested for blood-alcohol concentration in 2018, 456 had a BAC of 0.08 or more, which is per se evidence of drunk driving.

There were 6 fatal crashes and 6 deaths in Nueces County in 2018 reported to have been caused by driving under the influence of alcohol. There were 850 DUI crashes statewide and 940 DUI deaths.

Distracted driving caused 3,166 deaths in motor vehicle accidents in 2017 or approximately one of every 10 crash deaths, the NHTSA says.

Texas statistics for 2018 show 357 fatal accidents and 398 deaths in car accidents caused by distracted driving across Texas in 2018. Among these, 2 accidents and 2 deaths occurred in Nueces County crashes. That figure likely undercounts the prevalence of distracted driving as a contributing factor.

How Can A Car Accident Attorney Help Me in Corpus Christi?

There are numerous other types and causes of car accidents in Corpus Christi that lead to unnecessary deaths as well as serious injuries. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident in Nueces County, Texas caused by another driver’s negligence, a Corpus Christi car wreck attorney at Herrman & Herrman may be able to help you hold the at-fault driver accountable and seek compensation for your loss.

The process starts with a phone call to Herrman & Herrman for a free consultation. One of our knowledgeable car accident attorneys can review the specific facts of the accident and explain your legal options.

All initial consultations are free, and if we can pursue compensation for you, we will do so aggressively. Contact us today.

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