Texas ranks high in terms of the number of wrong-way crash fatalities it sees each year, and the number of people dying in such wrecks is rising rapidly. Many wrong-way crashes share similar elements in common, so working to eliminate these common threads may help save lives across the state.
Per CBS 19, the number of people dying in wrong-way crashes across Texas rose almost 30% between 2-15 and 2018, with 309 people dying in these wrecks within this span. This is the highest number of wrong-way crash fatalities seen anywhere in the nation.
Common factors in fatal wrong-way crashes
Many fatal wrong-way crashes in Texas involve alcohol. A review of recent wrong-way wrecks revealed that alcohol had a hand in six out of every 10 such crashes, making it the most common factor seen in these incidents. Driver age is also a common factor in these crashes, with older drivers more likely to drive on the wrong side of the road than younger ones. Many, or 87%, of wrong-way car wrecks, also involve drivers driving alone, rather than with passengers who might alert them to the fact that they are on the wrong side of the road.
How to reduce the likelihood of wrong-way crashes
Texas motorists have little control over the actions of other drivers. However, they may be able to help reduce wrong-way crash numbers and deaths by avoiding drinking and driving and driving while fatigued.
Some Texas communities are also looking for ways to reduce wrong-way crashes. Enhancing enforcement and installing more visible traffic signs and signals are among the actions some cities and towns are taking to do so.