Houston-Area Vehicle Accident Injuries and Statistics
More than two million people are injured in crashes every year, and the average American driver is involved in three to four vehicle crashes within their lifetime. The odds suggest the chances are good that you will be involved in at least one vehicle crash and will know someone who loses their life in a road accident.
Nearly 185 vehicle accidents occur every day in Houston. Most are small fender-benders. But many cause serious injury and death. Nearly all are caused by human error, mistakes that often have disastrous consequences.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle crash because of a driver’s mistakes, you can take legal action to be fairly compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages a personal injury claim against the driver’s insurance company (and/or yours, depending on the circumstances) allows you to receive payment for these costs you’ve suffered from a car crash.
Fast Facts on 2016 Vehicle Accidents in Houston and Harris County
In 2016, the most recent year for which traffic accident statistics are available:
- There were more than 112,000 vehicle crashes in Harris County.
- They caused 2,259 incapacitating injuries and 440 deaths.
- A person was killed every two and a half hours on Texas roads.
- Someone was injured somewhere in Texas almost every two minutes.
- There has not been a deathless day on Texas roads in 17 years.
When you add the seven surrounding counties that make up the Houston metropolitan area, there’s only one word to describe the numbers – unacceptable!
Why Do Vehicle Crashes Occur?
Nearly all vehicle accidents are the result of mistakes. In many cases, one single crash can be caused by several factors. For example, if a drunk driver is texting while driving and causes a serious vehicle crash, the crash can be viewed as both an impaired driving accident and a distracted driving accident; or a speeding driver may be driving while intoxicated (DWI).
These are some of the most common causes of vehicle crashes:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted, drowsy, or fatigued driving
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Improper lane shifting or failure to signal lane changes
- Ignoring traffic signs or signals
- Following other vehicles too closely
- Failing to drive appropriately in inclement weather
- Defective vehicle parts
Types of Injuries in Automobile Accidents
Vehicle crash-related injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to disabilities and death. Here are some of the most serious injuries a crash victim may suffer in a vehicle accident:
- Multiple bone fractures, such as wrist, arm, ankle, rib, or hip fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries – Vehicle crashes are the third leading cause of TBI-related deaths according to the CDC.
- Spinal cord injuries – A person’s basic bodily functions can become permanently disabled or even paralyzed from one serious blow to the spinal column. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center says vehicle accidents cause around 30% of all spinal cord injuries.
- Loss of limbs or amputations – This painful, traumatic injury often leads to expensive medical and rehabilitation treatment and diminished work capacity.
- Burns – Perhaps the most painful injury a person can suffer, burns are extremely expensive to treat.
- Internal organ damage – Often difficult to detect immediately after a crash, internal injuries can lead to complete shutdown of vital bodily functions. Many are fatal.
- Wrongful death – When a negligent driver kills a beloved family member, his or her survivors are emotionally crippled, and are especially impacted if they rely on the deceased’s’ income. They experience incredible emotional pain and suffering – not to mention the economic fallout of medical bills and end-of-life costs.
Injured Cyclists and Pedestrians Suffer Even More When Hit by a Motor Vehicle
For those who ride Houston-area streets on bicycles or motorcycles, or who walk or jog, the dangers are equally grave. And because none of these people have the protection afforded by a car, being hit at even 5 mph or less can cause debilitating injuries.
- The National Highway and Traffic Administration (NHTSA) says that 818 bicyclists were killed in vehicle accidents in 2015, and an estimated 45,000 were seriously injured.
- 5,376 pedestrians were struck and killed by motor vehicles in 2015.
- The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) reports that 436 motorcycle drivers and 23 passengers were killed on Texas roads in 2015, many of them struck by a motor vehicle.
All of these statistics paint a gloomy picture of just how dangerous cycling or walking near our streets can be when compared to driving or riding in a car.
How Vehicle Injuries Impact Victims
Injuries are not just painful and traumatic; they also have a very real impact on a family’s financial situation. At the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant, we have helped thousands of clients file vehicle-related personal injury claims. Mr. Bryant is a former judge with over 30 years of experience in these types of cases. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.