ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Police Department reported a high number of vehicle crashes, some resulting in fatalities, happening this year. The Texas Department of Transportation in Abilene has few theories as to why these crashes are happening more frequently.
APD said the highest recorded number of fatalities in a year was 21. This year already, Abilene has experienced 13 fatal crashes with 17 fatalities.
“We started to see a trend of increasing fatalities back when the pandemic first occurred. So about in June 2020,” Texas Department of Transportation Abilene District PIO Tanya Brown explained.
The lifetime odds of an American dying in a vehicle wreck are roughly 1 in 107. That means every person in the country with a driver license and a functional vehicle has about a 0.91% chance of ending up as a victim of a driving-related crash, according to National Safety Council reports.
Driving defensively, avoiding distracted driving and slowing down are some of the many suggestions APD is giving drivers on the road.
“Folks need to remember that. They need to allow themselves that extra time to reach their destination to slow down and take their time and then be courteous, share the road and drive defensively. So don't wait until you get up on that construction zone to get me on the other lane. We give fair warning that that construction's coming up. Make sure you march early. And then also make sure again that you're not on the phone or anything being distracted while you're driving,” Brown suggested.
More safe driving tips can be found on the TxDOT website.