It seems like Dallas is in the news again, this time not for reasons to be exactly proud of.
Last week we wrote an article of new zero-tolerance policies the city of Houston is implementing in order to curb drunk driving and the wrecks that are associated with it. We took a look out several statistics and issues with the enforceability with drunk driving laws in Texas’s most populated southern city. Now, a new Texas city has been called out because of its dangerous driving habits: Dallas.
Dallas, just east of Fort Worth, has been experiencing an increase in traffic accidents that have left some people astounded. Let’s see why.
First in the Nation for…
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Accidents that occurred in Dallas on interstate highways, pedestrians on interstate highways, traffic backups, and speeding-caused wrecks rank number one in the United States. This means Dallas surpassed other U.S. major cities, such as Miami, Los Angeles, and New York for these types of accidents, some of which have included fatalities.
Furthermore, municipal court records indicate major flaws in deterring accidents in Texas’s third most populated. For example, records show:
- For the year 2017, police officers gave 13% less tickets than in 2015
- 62 out of the 3,000 Dallas police officers work in traffic specialties
- 18 out of the above-mentioned 62 officers specifically covered enforcement. This translates to 0.6% of the police force.
For a city that has nearly 1.6 fatalities caused by speeding per 100,000 people, these numbers should raise concern.
This is because the focus of these numbers are not on the drivers themselves; it’s on the authority that can potentially avoid these accidents from occurring in the first place.Police officers need the resources to protect the population. This includes having their police department’s support in focusing on tracking down dangers in car accidents. What if, for example, the amount of officers that covered enforcement increased from 18 to 200? What about to 500? On the same token, what if there wasn’t a 13% ticket decrease, but a steady rate of ticketing? These types of questions are meant to encourage looking into ways that police departments can use the tools and resources they already have available in an improved, more efficient manner.
Learning from Houston’s Data
Due to an increase of attention in Texas’s major cities’ problems with car accidents, injuries, and fatalities, several studies have focused on the relation between enforceability and deterrence. For example, a study from The Houston Chronicle found:
- Part of the cause of why drivers in Houston speed is because they think the police aren't paying attention to their driving
- There was a 41% decrease in drivers that were ticketed in 2017 versus in 2012
- An increase in car accidents might be proportional to a decrease in traffic tickets
Is it possible officials for the city of Dallas can learn and relate these indicators to change vehicle safety reform? The answer: yes. For example, in the mid 2010s there was an increased concern of texting and driving and the impact it had towards accidents. There was also a concern on seat belt laws, in regards to whether or not school buses had to require seat belts for students. Now, it appears like there is a growing concern in general concern in traffic accidents altogether. Although the numbers shown can cause alarm, the attention that would be drawn from the alarm can lead to positive results, such as a change in the approach of how car accidents are handled and avoided.
As has been done in the past with epidemics, the police and other authorities in North Texas can take an analytical approach to the data presented and see if there is correlation in Dallas. If there is - as in, there are similarities between the causes and types of accidents that have occurred in Dallas and Houston - then there are advantages to be held. One major advantage is that Dallas officials can take a general overlook on what has worked and what hasn’t worked in bring about a decrease in accidents. This can be time efficient in applying effective safety measures rapidly, and at the same time can be cost-effective in avoiding spending on programs that might not work.
Furthermore, if Dallas officials note there are significant changes or if a fresh research phase is desired, then it might be a good idea to focus attention in motor vehicle accidnet areas that need it.
With the expansion of major highways and roads in North Texas, it has been no secret that the amount of accidents has increased since construction began several years ago. These accidents have been caused by a variety of reasons, ranging from failing to slow in traffic and construction zones, not being accustomed with lane changes and detours, and reckless driving behavior such as texting and driving and speeding. All of these factor into an increase in the dangerous driving rates mentioned above.
Choosing to Drive Safely
As we have mentioned throughout our articles and blog posts, it is up to each and every driver to choose to drive safely. This includes driving on the speed limit, using turn signals when turning or switching lanes, slowing down in traffic, and so on. If drivers continuously rely on other drivers to do what they themselves have to do, it would harder to lower the accident rate.
At the Anderson Law Firm we have seen countless amounts of accidents where victims have been injured or have been fatally injured. We encourage every driver to choose to drive safely for the sake of themselves and others. Instead of contributing to the news for high accident rates, let’s contribute to showing the nation how North Texas can be an example for other cities and states to drive safely.
If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver and are looking for help, look no further. The attorneys and legal team at the Anderson Law Firm is here to help.