Texas Drivers Need More Sleep!
With so many people traveling on Texas roads everyday, it might not surprise you to hear that thousands of Texas accidents happen every year due to drivers who are fatigued or asleep, otherwise known as drowsy driving accidents. However, Texas actually makes up far more than its fair share of these kinds of crashes.
While it may be a particularly large issue in Texas, driving while drowsy is just one out of many irresponsible choices that drivers can make that could lead to an accident. Because of this, it’s essential that the law gives drivers a way to seek compensation from at-fault drivers, whether those drivers were fatigued, drunk, or simply careless.
If it’s determined that a fatigued driver caused a car accident, they may be held liable for all or part of the victims’ losses. Today your caring Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC will explain why Texas drivers need more sleep.
Are Texas Drivers the Drowsiest?
According to a study from insurance company Value Penguin, between 2010 and 2018, Texas accounted for the largest number of drowsy-driving deaths out of any state, and it wasn’t even close. During that eight year stretch, Texas alone accounted for more than 20% of all U.S. drowsy driving deaths, despite making up just over 8% of the U.S. population.
During the range of study, Texas saw 1,111 deadly drowsy driving accidents, resulting in more than 1,700 deaths. The second-most drowsiest state, California, saw just 283 drowsy driving crashes in that same period, meaning Texas had more than four times as many drowsy driving crashes than the next highest state.
On average, each state saw 117 drowsy driving deaths during the eight-year study. For reference, according to data from the Texas Department of Transportation, there were at least 141 people killed in drowsy driving accidents in Texas in 2020, an improvement over the year before it.
The Good News… and the Not So Good News
The good news is that drowsy driving accidents are falling in Texas. In fact, in 2020, drowsy driving accidents fell below 7,600 for the first time in a decade, since 2010 when the study above was started. However, that alone doesn’t give a full picture.
First of all, it’s important to note that drowsy driving got far worse in Texas before it got any better. Drowsy driving accidents reached an all time high in the state in 2016 when there were over 9,800 accidents of this kind, killing at least 162 people. In 2020, there were 7,527 such crashes resulting in at least 141 deaths.
With that being said, last year, drowsy driving accidents dropped off sharply in comparison to the slow decline of the few years before it. There are reasons to suspect that this sharp decline was caused at least in part by the pandemic, meaning that we could see drowsy driving accidents rise year over year in 2021.
Next, while it’s certainly an excellent thing that Texas drowsy driving accidents are decreasing, they aren’t keeping up with national improvements. Between 2010 and 2018, national fatal drowsy driving accidents fell by 9%; meanwhile in Texas, fatal drowsy driving accidents actually increased by 9% from 160 to 175.
If 2019 is included (2020 being considered an unusual year), Texas has still seen less than a 3% decline in the same metric.
Recovering From Drowsy Driving Accidents With a Texas Car Accident Attorney
Proving liability after any car accident can be difficult, much less after one involving something so seemingly subjective as drowsiness. Proving that someone should have known that they were too drowsy to drive safely can be incredibly difficult. Because of this, we highly recommend you seek out the assistance of a car or truck accident attorney to help you make your case.
If you’ve been injured in a drowsy driving accident, the determined Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, would be proud to fight on your behalf in insurance negotiations or a court of law.