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1 in 3 Texas vehicle deaths are speed-related, TxDOT says

The department reported a 16% increase in speed-related crashes on Texas roads last year.

AUSTIN, Texas — In 2021, the number of people killed in crashes across the state reached a level not seen since 1981. Thirty-four percent of those involved speed.

In 2021, TxDOT reports that speed was the main reason for the total of 163,756 traffic crashes in Texas. Those resulted in 6,493 serious injuries and 1,532 fatalities. 

These statistics are the reason why the department is currently pushing its "Be Safe, Drive Smart" campaign, urging motorists to slow down and drive safe.

"Speed is the number one factor in roadway crashes in our state, causing one out of every three traffic deaths," said TxDOT Executive Director Marc Williams. "When you speed, you increase the risk of death and serious injury in a collision. By observing the speed limit and driving to specific weather and road conditions, Texans can make our roads safer for everyone."

The department is now partnering with law enforcement agencies around the state as they boost their efforts to enforce speed limits during "Operation Slowdown" from June 7-21. In addition to issuing citations, officials will be spending extra time driving around Texas to remind drivers what safe speeds look like.

TxDOT said driving at a safe speed is more than just following the posted speed limit and provided the following tips:

  • Match your speed to road conditions if there’s bad weather or you’re driving through a work zone.
  • Slow down and allow for more distance to stop when traffic is heavy.
  • Watch for signs alerting you of reduced speed limits ahead.

TxDOT will also be reminding motorists this month through TV, radio, billboards, gas pumps and by posting on social media. Community events will also pop up across Texas, featuring interactive exhibits and video displays at Buc-ee's locations.

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