BEAUMONT, Texas — The highway safety industry is urging people to be safe on the roads as car accidents across the state are still a main concern.
Car crashes are starting to become the norm in Southeast Texas
“We were seeing a drop in vehicles on the road,” said Sarah Dupre with the Texas Department of Transportation.
But a drop in vehicles didn’t lead to a drop in fatal accidents. “Actually, the death rate stayed the same,” Dupre said.
That was at the peak of the pandemic when the TxDOT hoped crashes would decrease with more people working from home.
“We've gone 20 years without a death-free day on Texas roadways, and we need to stop that,” Dupre said.
3,445 fatal wrecks have been reported statewide in 2020. Last year’s total number of wrecks was 3,623.
For Southeast Texas, over the last four years crashes on Intersate-10 in Orange County have decreased.
In 2017, 734 crashes were reported. In 2020, 554 crashes have been reported so far, according to the state's crash record information systems
American Automobile Association Public Information Officer Joshua Zuber said highways usually gets a little hectic around the holidays.
“Holidays are stressful enough already before the pandemic right,” Zuber said. “So, tensions are likely to be elevated on the roadways.”
Here are a few holiday travel road rage tips that could help driver avoid accidents:
- Don't offend other drivers
- Be kind
- Don't respond
“Most crashes are preventable,” Dupre said.
Tx-DOT representative Dupre said it's important to remember how most crashes are caused. “We're looking at crashes that are caused by speeding, drunk driving and distracted driving,” Dupre said.
As we continue to go through the holiday season, transportation officials are encouraging people to plan out their road trips ahead of time to look out for traffic delays or roadblocks. Planning ahead is also a good way to avoid accidents.