TxDOT: State roads haven't been fatality-free for 13 years

Texas highway fatalities

ABILENE, Texas - Nov. 7, 2000 was the last day Texas roadways were fatality-free. Since that date, there have been more than 45,000 deaths.

According to the Texas Department of Tranportation, 2,752 people have died so far this year.

"That's very alarming and that's something that we take personally at TxDOT," Darah Waldrip, TxDOT's public information officer, said. "Those are more than 2,000 people who were here this time last year…they aren't going to be spending the holidays with their families."

KTXS delved into TxDOT's 2012 fatality statistics. Last year, there were 3,399 fatalities. Statewide, alcohol was listed as the contributing factor for the highest amount of fatal crashes. Contributing factors such as failing to control speed and failing to drive in a single lane followed closely behind.

"Each one of those people represents someone who was loved, who was counted on and who is very deeply missed by probably lots of people now," Waldrip said.

Drivers aged 21 had the highest fatality rate in 2012 with more than 150 deaths.

November had the most fatalities and, for all of 2012, most of the fatal crashes occurred on a Saturday or Sunday. Of more than 16,000 work-zone related crashes, 132 people died.

From 2011 to 2012, there was an 11 percent increase in fatalities on Texas roads. Waldrip said she hopes TxDOT does no see another increase this year and that drivers remember to buckle up, put down their phones and drive sober. 

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