Typically, Texans are proud of the accolades our state receives. However, for yet another year, Texas has placed among the top five most dangerous states for drivers, a dishonor no Texan wishes to bear. More specifically, Texas earned the top spot for driving under the influence citations (DUIs) in the nation.
According to a recent study conducted by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) on DUI-related accidents, of the 3,722 fatal crashes recorded in Texas in 2017, 39% (1,468) were drunk driving-related.
Factors Associated with Drunk Driving
Texas drivers under the age of 35 are at the greatest risk for drunk driving accidents and fatalities. Of the nation’s recorded drunk driving accidents, 27% of drivers were between the ages of 21 to 24, followed closely at 26% were ages 25 to 34.
Gender also plays a role in drunk driving statistics. Male drivers are four times more likely to be involved in drunk driving accidents or fatalities.
For many Texans, commuting long distances and navigating rural roads is a part of everyday life. In a state that sprawls 268,597 square miles, there is a lot of ground to cover. Lacking mass transit between major cities, many Texans have no other choice but to drive long distances on unmaintained highways and back roads.
Seventy percent of DUI accidents occurred at night, and 87% of reported accidents were on non-interstate roads, compared to 13% on interstate highways.
Time of Year
The time of year plays a big role in increasing the chances of a drunk driving accident. The holiday season sees a surge in DUI arrests and accidents, with New Year’s Eve being a notoriously risky day for drivers. NHTSA found more DUIs actually occur in July, August, and September.
Deadliest Counties in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation’s latest report, the following are the most deadly counties in the state for drunk driving accidents:
- Harris County – 3,186 crashes
- Dallas County – 2,252 crashes
- Bexar County – 2,051 crashes
- Tarrant County – 1,502 crashes
- Travis County – 1,480 crashes
- El Paso County – 899 crashes
Making Texas Roads Safer
When a driver makes the decision to get behind the wheel and operate a vehicle while impaired, they are not only breaking the law, they are also putting their lives at risk as well as the lives of everyone else on the roads.
Regardless of commute, time of year, age, or gender, all drivers and passengers deserve access to safe roads. With technological advances, many options are available for impaired drivers. Taxis and rideshare apps such as Lyft and Uber are effective alternatives to operating a vehicle impaired.
Houston Drunk Driving Attorneys
When a drunk driver causes an accident, the damage and turmoil inflicted is unimaginable, and can irrevocably change lives. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a drunk driving accident, you need an attorney on your side that will fight for your rights and ensure justice is served. Contact us today for more information on how we can help.