Soon there could be more fatal car crashes this year in Austin so far than in all of 2014. As of mid-July, there were 58 traffic fatalities in Austin for 2015, already nearly reaching the annual average of 64. If the current trend continues, this will be the deadliest year for traffic fatalities in the city’s recent history.
Statistics show most fatal crashes occur at night and on the weekends, involve intoxication and occur on busy, high-traffic roads. However, many fatal car accidents are preventable.
Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists account for over half of all the traffic fatalities in Austin. According to Austin Police Department, from 2008 to 2014, there were 126 pedestrian deaths, 89 motorcyclist deaths, and 10 bicyclist deaths. Car riders accounted for 214 deaths.
“There’s a lot of people that suffer when someone dies or gets seriously injured,” said Art Fortune, Commander of Highway Enforcement for Austin’s Police Department (APD).
When a car crash occurs in Austin, it is Fortune’s officers who respond.
Fortune said he is not sure why there has been a drastic rise in fatal car crashes this year. While the numbers tend to go up and down throughout the years, this year is different, and the fatalities are increasing at a rate much faster than Austin’s population growth.
Intoxication is a factor in more than half of all fatal crashes. Earlier this month the department expanded the DWI team so it’s fully-staffed seven nights a week. Austin police may also focus more on drivers with suspended or revoked licenses, as they are involved in a quarter of fatal crashes. Prosecutors may also ramp their efforts as well, as very few of the dozens of fatal crashes this year have become criminal cases.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Injury Attorney