Deadly Roads - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Deadly Roads

Statistics from TxDot show, Texas has had a deadly accident almost every day since the early 2000's. When driving, you can potentially be victim. 

"The main cause is lack of focus.  They're either diverted; they're either talking to a child or have the radio playing loud.  Unfortunately they're on the cell phone today," said Texoma driver, Joseph Whalen. 

Texoma resident, Joseph Whalen is right.  In 2012 over 3,000 deadly accidents on Texas roads were reported.  638 of deadly accidents were due to the driver driving while intoxicated.  173 of deadly accidents on Texas roads were due to driver inattention. 

"What we see as being a big contributing factor is people not paying attention when they're driving.  For whatever reason, people don't pay attention when they're driving.  It causes them to run off the road or in to someone else," said Senior Trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Tony Fulton. 

171 of the deaths on Texas roads in 2012 were because drivers failed to reduce their speed. 

"Speed is close second. You should drive preparing for that other driver to do the worst thing possible," said Whalen. 

"A lot of people drive like they are in their own little world.  Assume that the other person can do something that you don't expect.  Watch out and be proactive when you drive," said Texoma driver, David Jones. 

"We just ask the driver drive their car knowing that not only their life, but other people's lives are at stake," said Trooper Fulton. 

  • With the ever changing weather in Texoma, TX-Dot has recently implemented a "Drive to Conditions" Campaign. 
  • When driving in heavy rain, be cautious when traveling through flood-prone areas.  Turn your headlights on and slow down, allowing extra distance for braking. 
  • When driving in fog, it is recommended that you do not drive faster than your field of vision. 
  • When driving in winter weather, drive slowly, using smooth steering movements.  Also, use extra caution on bridges, ramps and overpasses as these areas tend to freeze first. 
  • When driving in heavy traffic, do not flash your lights at another driver.  Stay in your lane when vehicles are constantly changing lanes. 

An accident can happen anywhere, at any time and they can also cost you. 

"It varies per person, depending on age, if you're male or female or what type of car you drive.  If the person who was in the accident is now deceased and it is their fault, it could be that there is nothing out there for them," said Insurance Agent from Inman Insurance, Jennifer Cartwright.
Whenever there is a deadly accident on a Texas road, Texas State Troopers immediately respond. 

"If we have a fatality crash we are going to investigate that crash and do a scale diagram of that actual scene.  We want to do our best so that we can determine what happened and what caused that crash so if charges need to be filed we have the evidence available," said Trooper Fulton. 

To help prevent an accident, Fulton says, "We always suggest that when you're driving, look at driving as the number one thing that you are doing.  You're not talking on your cell phone, not adjusting your stereo, not trying to set your GPS.  Do these things before you actually start the vehicle in motion".  

"Don't look at something else.  Just drive like you're supposed to.  People just need to slow down," said Texoma driver, Roy Pierce. 

"Younger drivers need to make sure you keep the distractions away.  They shouldn't have their phone, radio, or friends in the car.  They just aren't experienced yet.  As you get older you may want to take a defensive driving course to remind yourself and remember that you're reflexes have slowed down and you need to allow more time.  Of course you want to get to your destination safely and sometimes that means going slower.  You want to protect yourself and the people around you as well as be a good defensive driver," said Cartwright. 

The key to keep Texoma roads safe is to follow posted signs, abide by the conditions and limit your distractions. 

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6

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