Approximately 23.7 million drivers are licensed in Texas, according to the Texas Comptroller. These drivers travel approximately 288 billion miles each year, more than drivers in any other state. With more miles traveled, more crashes are bound to occur. Unfortunately, Texas has some of the worst statistics for traffic accidents. The state leads the nation in the number of truck accidents, a staggering 137% more than the next state on the list. Texas also leads the country in the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that 4,489 motorists died and 239,530 people suffered injuries in traffic accidents in Texas for the most recent year for which data is available. Click on the map to reveal the pattern of accidents from year to year.
For the most recent year for which data is available, the following number of people suffered a serious injury or died in a traffic accident in Texas:
Rio Grande Valley
Distracted driving continues to be a major problem in Texas and across the United States. Talking on a cell phone or sending text messages contributes to many distracted driving accidents. Crashes involving distracted driving took the lives of 433 people in Texas in the most recent year for which data is available. Because of the increasing risk of distracted driving, Texas requires teens enrolled in driver education courses to complete the Impact Texas Teen Drivers program to emphasize the dangers of distracted driving.
Every year, Texas has among the highest number of drunk driving fatalities of any state, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The most recent data shows that 1,077 people in Texas died in alcohol-related accidents in Texas in a recent year. The deaths in drunk driving crashes represented 24% of all traffic fatalities in Texas for that year. Even one drunk driving death would be too many because all alcohol-related crashes are preventable.
Drug-impaired driving is as dangerous and potentially deadly as drunk driving. Prescription drugs or illegal substances may deprive a driver of the normal use of his or her physical or mental faculties to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. In the most recent year, 350 people died in Texas in drug-related traffic accidents.
Inconsiderate driving, traffic congestion, and daily stresses can erupt into aggressive driving behavior known as road rage. Such behaviors as running stop signs or red lights, tailgating, and inappropriate hand and facial gestures are signs of road rage. Road rage was cited as a contributing factor in 8 fatal traffic accidents and 40 serious crashes in Texas in the most recent year.
Reckless driving involves driving a vehicle with wanton disregard for the safety of others. Reckless driving may involve driving well above the speed limit, running red lights, or other erratic driving behavior. Reckless driving is a criminal offense in Texas and may be charged as a felony if a death is involved. The Texas Department of Transportation reports that 2021 was the second deadliest year on Texas roads in the state’s history. The pandemic appeared to encourage reckless driving with 1,522 of the year’s fatalities involving high speeds.
In 2021, 1,077 people (24.00%) died in motor vehicle traffic crashes where a driver was under the influence of alcohol.
In 2021, 433 people (9.64%) were killed in crashes involving distracted driving.
The 2021 death toll of 4,489 was an increase of 15.22% from the 3,896 deaths recorded in 2020. This is the second highest number of fatal traffic accidents reported since TxDOT began tracking fatalities on the state’s roadways in 1940. The all-time high was 4,701 fatalities reported in 1981.