Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Sugar Land & Fort Bend County Drop 26% in 5 YearsOctober 28, 2020
Fewer Crashes Has Meant Less Injuries But No Fewer Deaths, TxDOT Data Shows
Motorists in Sugar Land, TX, and throughout Fort Bend County seem to be paying better attention to the roads. That’s the story the latest data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) appears to tell. In fact, it shows that, since 2015, the area has seen:
- Serious distracted driving accidents fall by nearly 38%.
- Distracted driving wrecks causing injuries decrease by nearly 41%.
- The overall number of these crashes (annually) fall below 1,000 for the past two years.
As of 2019, that puts Sugar Land and Fort Bend County in 16th place for having the most distracted driving accidents across all Texas counties.
A Closer Look at Distracted Driving Auto Accidents in Fort Bend County, TX
The following table shows how many distracted driving car crashes have occurred in Sugar Land and Fort Bend County, TX, each year going back to 2015. All data is from the TxDOT.
|Distracted Driving Crashes
Except for deadly crashes, all other distracted driving wrecks have steadily and remarkably declined every year since 2015.
What Has Caused the Drop in Distracted Driving Crashes?
Several factors are at play. The three that follow are likely among the most significant.
1. Statewide Cellphone Ban & Enforcement
One major, at least since 2017, has probably been the texting while driving ban. This law prohibits Texas drivers from:
- Sending or reading texts or emails while driving (for motorists 18 and over)
- Using cellphones during the first 6 months of driving (for newly licensed drivers)
- Using cellphones while driving around children (for bus drivers) or in school zones (for all drivers)
This statewide cellphone ordinance replaced a stricter measure that the Sugar Land City Council had approved in February 2017. The Sugar Land ordinance had originally banned any cellphone use while driving for all motorists.
2. Public Education Campaigns
Along with TxDOT, transportation safety agencies across the state have run many awareness campaigns over the years. Arrive Alive Sugar Land has been one example of how locals in Fort Bend County, TX are trying to:
- Get the facts about distracted driving out: Through Arrive Alive Sugar Land, officials have shared key statistics to highlight just how dangerous and deadly distracted driving can be. For example, the campaign has shared how at least 1 in 7 victims of fatal distracted driving crashes are people outside of vehicles, like pedestrians and bicyclists.
Similarly, the Houston Fire Department has its own campaigns, exposing how 20% of fatal crashes involve driver distraction and the fact that motorists are 11 times more likely to miss seeing flashing lights when they are distracted.
- Encourage motorists to do their part: Specifically, campaigns have urged drivers to put down their phones, use hands-free devices, and avoid distractions behind the wheel.
3. Shifting Public Norms
Some officials believe the data is proof that public education campaigns have been working. The steady downward trend emerges in all data surrounding distracted driving car accidents in Sugar Land and Fort Bend County, TX, they say. And that seems to indicate that more and more motorists are paying attention to the roads, not their phones or other distractions.
Is It Enough?
As promising as the decline in distracted driving wrecks has been, many transportation safety advocates say it’s not enough. In fact, they contend that:
- These accidents are 100% preventable.
- Distracted driving is the biggest problem among teen motorists.
- Even just one injury or death caused by a distracted driver is one too many.
The effort to end distracted driving crashes—and all auto accidents caused by preventable motorist negligence—is ongoing. In fact, this has been part of their Vision Zero Campaign.
With an unflinching focus on bringing distracted driving accidents—and all traffic deaths in Texas—down to zero, officials continue to spread the word about the dangers of driver distraction.
Top 3 Distracted Driving Dangers
Here are some key reasons why experts say distracted driving is just as deadly as drunk driving.
1. Inattention Blindness
Distraction prevents drivers from seeing important details of their surroundings even if they are looking right at them. This phenomenon is known as inattention blindness. It can result in motorists not noticing critical cues, like brake lights, traffic signs, pedestrians, and more.
Distraction can also skew motorists’ perception of their surroundings. It can also limit the information drivers perceive, impacting their ability to make safe decisions. For example, distracted drivers are far more likely to misperceive distances, objects in their field of view, and circumstances that require judgment calls.
3. Slow Response Times
When distracted drivers aren’t seeing things clearly, it usually takes them more time to properly respond to their surroundings. This can have disastrous consequences in areas where traffic conditions are regularly changing, like intersections and highways.
Hurt in Any Car Accident in Sugar Land, TX?
Whether driver distraction or any form of negligence causes a wreck, victims can have options for:
- Holding the negligent party liable: Depending on the wreck, other motorists may be just one of the parties liable for a crash, the injuries, and victims’ suffering and losses.
- Seeking recovery: Compensation for car accidents can help victims pay for essential medical treatments while helping them restore their lives.
Contact a 5-star Sugar Land car accident attorney at the Amaro Law Firm for confidential answers about your rights and potential claim if you or a loved one has been hurt in a wreck. We offer free, no-obligation consultations and exceptional advocacy.