Why So Many Road Fatalities in Fort Worth and Dallas?

12 road fatalities in Fort Worth and Dallas area in just the last 5 days! (Edited)

It is shocking that over 3,500 people die on Texas roads each year — many of them here in North Texas. These stories are heart-breaking:

1. Yesterday a crash between an 18-wheeler and a Corvette sadly claimed the life of a 26-year-old man in Fort Worth. Two others were injured, one critically. The crash shut down Loop 820 in the eastbound direction near the I-35 interchange for hours. It is not known what caused the crash.

I send my condolences and prayers to the man’s family and to the victims. I was chilled to read about this crash since I filed a lawsuit several years ago against the large company responsible for the death of a man at almost that same location and went there several times to investigate the scene.

2. Last night in south Dallas, a pick up truck driver ran a light, crashed into a SUV making a left turn at an intersection, and took the lives of a mother and her 6-year-old son. The young man driving the truck was DWI. He faces intoxication manslaughter charges.

3. Earlier yesterday a traffic wreck in south Grand Prairie caused another fatality when a driver lost control of his car on a wet road and collided head-on onto an oncoming car.

4. On Sunday two people lost their lives in a Glen Rose crash.

5. And I am helping the family of a woman who was killed in Dallas several weeks ago and two other people who were injured, one seriously. A man who was DWI — at only 4:00 in the afternoon — crashed into the three women as they were getting out of their car. The drunk fled the scene. Fortunately he was apprehended and is in the Dallas County jail. Since he only has the standard liability policy and there is only a standard underinsured policy, I am representing the family and victims at no charge. I hope that he is given a long prison sentence.

Updated Friday:

6. Yesterday afternoon, two young men died in Dallas when one of them was drag racing with another car and lost control, causing him to hit a guard rail and bounce off into oncoming traffic.

7. And last light a violent crash on I-20 in Arlington was caused by an intoxicated driver who ran off the road and hit two people — a young woman and her father who had come to rescue her — who were standing outside her car. They and another person inside the car lost their lives. The cars exploded and a fire storm erupted that could have caused more deaths. As if this tragedy were not devastating enough, a police officer rushing to the scene was involved in a collision and seriously injured.

8. Today a Grand Prairie Police officer was standing outside of his patrol vehicle with his radar gun out when he was tragically struck and killed by a 17-year-old kid racing a sports car on the George Bush Turnpike in broad daylight.

What in the world is going on out there? The wrongful death count on DFW roads is out of control.

Causes of road fatalities in Fort Worth and Dallas

Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation reveal that these are the leading causes of road fatalities:

  • Negligent driving,
  • Driving while intoxicated/under the influence of drugs, and
  • Distracted driving from cell phone use.

From my daily experience talking to my clients who have been injured by bad drivers, it is usually because someone failed to

  1. Stop at a traffic light (I believe that the state legislature outlawing red light cameras will prove to be a mistake),
  2. Stop at a stop sign,
  3. Yield the right of way at an intersection,
  4. Obey the speed limit, and
  5. Turn when it was safe/not use his or her turn signal.
There are many other causes, including passing when unsafe, failing to take proper evasive action, and driving while overly tired or under the influence of medications or a medical condition like diabetes.

I hope that increased law enforcement, fines, and lawsuits can curb the wrongful deaths we see all around us. Today’s article in the Dallas News asks if Dallas is too soft on crime. I think it is clear that we are too soft on preventing vehicle deaths and injuries.

In the meantime, since you never know who is driving beside you, be prepared, as I was taught in the Boy Scouts when I was earning my Eagle badge.

We have to take action to prevent this from happening

As a personal injury lawyer in Fort Worth who has represented many families in wrongful death cases over the past 39 years, I see the sometimes grim repercussions of car and truck wrecks. I hate that we have any collisions that cause fatalities, let alone so many.

I joined the Fort Worth Safe Communities Coalition Road Safety Task Force to try to help solve our city’s urgent traffic problems. I attended the Coalition’s monthly meeting this morning at Medstar Ambulance’s headquarters. We are working on many projects including reducing our highway fatality toll to zero, enhancing the Fort Worth Active Transportation Plan, increasing teenagers’ driving safety, planning safe routes to schools, and safeguarding bicycle and pedestrian safety.

For more on this topic:

Why are DFW Interstates So Dangerous?

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