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Fatal Car Accident Statistics in Texas

There was a traffic fatality every single day in 2020, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT).

This statistic is more startling because most of these crashes were preventable. It takes only a careless driver or a defective vehicle component to cause a fatal accident.

If someone’s negligence or wrongdoing took the life of a loved one, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact The Law Giant at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers to speak with one of our fatal car accident lawyers. For a free case evaluation, call (866) 243-8068.

Increase in Deadly Crashes

Despite a decrease in vehicle miles traveled in 2020 (primarily due to the pandemic), fatal car accidents statewide increased to 3,896. There were 1.5 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, a nearly 19% increase from 2019.

Deaths involving motor vehicles rose across the board, except for commercial motor vehicle crashes, which slightly declined.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian fatalities rose to 717, an 8.5% increase from 2019. The youngest victim was a year old; the oldest was 81.

Bicycle Accidents

Pedal cyclist accidents saw a 16% increase from 2019 to 79 fatalities.

Motorcycle Accidents

There were 8,279 deadly accidents involving motorcycles, marking a moderate increase from the previous year. Motorcycle drivers comprised the majority of fatalities, with approximately 557 passengers who also lost their lives.

45% percent of victims weren’t wearing helmets.

Fatal Car Accidents by Road Type

There were twice as many fatal highway accidents as interstate crashes. More than 1,400 individuals died on state and U.S. highways, compared to 625 on the interstate.

  • City streets were more dangerous than county roads, with 813 and 311 fatalities, respectively.
  • Farm to market roads accounted for 613 vehicular deaths in 2020.

Toll roads had the fewest fatal crashes, with 47 people losing their lives.

Surprising Weather Conditions in Most Crashes

Texas has all kinds of weather – rain, ice, snow, and fog. Yet most of 2020’s fatal car accidents did not involve an adverse weather event.

Statewide, 3,210 deadly crashes happened on clear or cloudy days. Over 260 occurred in rainy conditions, while 41 accidents involved fog.

Urban Weather Conditions

Rain was more of a factor in 109 urban fatal car crashes. Still, 1,651 accidents happened on clear or cloudy days. Fog was the predominant weather for 12 city accidents.

Rural Weather Conditions

Clear or cloudy conditions occurred for 1,559 fatal accidents on rural roads. Only 157 crashes involved rain, and 29 were in foggy conditions.

Time of Day

Statewide, more lethal accidents happened in the daytime, with 1,460 accidents occurring in daylight hours. Dark, lighted areas (such as roads lit by streetlights) saw 853 fatal crashes. Over 1,000 accidents took place in dark, unlighted conditions.

Urban Light Conditions

There were more traffic fatalities at night in urban areas. A total of 730 accidents took place in dark, lighted conditions, with 349 deadly crashes on dark, unlighted city streets.

Rural Light Conditions

More crashes on county roads happened in daylight, totaling 835. Perhaps an absence of streetlights accounted for 723 nighttime wrecks in rural areas. There were 123 fatal rural accidents in dark, lighted conditions.

Deadliest Days for Accidents

On average, the deadliest days for car accidents in 2020 were Sunday, Saturday, and Friday. The day of the week for the fewest accidents was Tuesday.

More fatal accidents happened in October (382), with the least occurring in April (242).

Three Deadliest Days of 2020

Twenty-two people lost their lives on three separate days in 2020:

  • Sunday, June 21st
  • Friday, August 14th
  • Monday, December 28th

Holiday Weekend

Of the major holidays in 2020, Thanksgiving was the deadliest for Texas drivers. There were 77 fatalities over the holiday weekend.

Other holiday weekend fatality statistics (Thursday through Sunday):

  • Memorial Day: 48
  • July 4th: 50
  • Labor Day: 31
  • Christmas: 37
  • New Year: 43

Contributing Factors for Fatal Crashes

Alcohol, speeding, and driver error contributed to many fatal crashes.

DUI and Alcohol-Related Accidents

Statewide, 958 people died in accidents involving drunk drivers. Of these deaths, there were:

  • 608 DUI drivers
  • 147 passengers of DUI drivers
  • 144 other drivers
  • 55 pedestrians and bicyclists

There were more alcohol-related crashes on Saturday than any other day, mostly between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m.


There were 1,299 lives lost in speed-related accidents.

Over-the-limit speeding accidents totaled 381, including:

  • 190 speeding drivers
  • 101 other drivers
  • 63 passengers
  • 21 pedestrians

Distracted Drivers

There was a slight drop in distracted driving deaths, with 368 killed in these crashes. This statistic shows a 3% decrease from 2019.

Driver Error

Driver error (not attributed to alcohol, speeding, or distraction) contributed to most fatal accidents in Texas.

The most significant behaviors are below with the number of fatalities:

  • Disregarding stop and go signals and signs: 199
  • Failing to maintain lane: 101
  • Fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel: 143
  • Improper evasive action: 255
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road: 163

Accidents by Age Groups

Although insurance rates are typically higher for teen drivers and people over 65, there were more fatal accidents involving drivers in other age groups.

In 2020, 144 teen drivers (ages 15 to 19) died in car accidents. There were 187 drivers between 65 and 75 who died in car accidents.

Drivers 20-30 Years

There were 530 driver fatalities for men and women ages 20 to 30. This represents the largest number of driver fatalities of any age group.

Drivers 31 to 40 Years

Men and women drivers ages 31 to 40 accounted for 382 traffic deaths.

Drivers 45 to 55 Years

The age group with the lowest average fatalities belonged to drivers between 45 and 55.

Did You Lose a Loved One in a Car Accident?

If someone’s negligence or reckless actions took the life of a loved one, you could be entitled to compensation. As fatal car accident attorneys, we know that nothing can bring your loved one back.

We also know that surviving family members suffer tremendous emotional and financial loss after a loved one’s death.

Wrongful Death Claims

Texas law allows for wrongful death claims to pursue compensation for survivors of fatal car accidents.

You could recover compensation for the following in a wrongful death action:

  • Lost earnings and benefits by the victim
  • Lost future inheritance
  • Loss of companionship, consortium, protection, or support
  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Funeral costs
  • Medical care and other expenses sustained by the victim before their death

The Law Giant Can Help You

If your parent, spouse, or child died in a car accident that was not their fault, a skilled car accident attorney helps pursue the compensation you deserve.

Our legal team has years of experience investigating wrecks and negotiating on behalf of our clients. We’ve recovered millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts, including wrongful death claims.

Contact The Law Giant at The Law Giant, Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers to speak with a knowledgeable Texas car accident lawyer. We protect your rights and help you understand your options. Call our office today at (866) 243-8068 to schedule a free case evaluation.

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