Last year, 1,323 people died in drunk driving accidents in Texas, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That number is significantly higher than any state in the country. And the year before, an all-time high of 1,446 people were killed in auto accidents in Texas caused by drunk drivers. That's more than 3 fatalities every single day.
Here are some other startling statistics about drunk driving in Texas:
- 25,479 - Number of car accidents in 2015 involving drivers with Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.1 or higher.
- 15,687 - Number of people injured in accidents caused by drivers with BAC of 0.1 or higher.
Christmas, New Year's Eve dangerous time of year
Leading up to Christmas and New Year's Eve, fatal car accidents involving drivers under the influence of alcohol increase dramatically. Specifically, average number of drunk driving fatalities nationwide during the Christmas-New Year's period increases by 34 percent, according to statistics compiled by the NHTSA.
In Texas, drunk driving accidents are especially common in the state's largest cities. In 2015, the state's four largest counties had the most drunk driving accidents, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.
- Harris County TX (Houston) - 2,880 drunk driving accidents
- Dallas County TX (Dallas) - 2,304 DUI accidents
- Bexar County TX (San Antonio) - 2,251 DUI accidents
- Travis County TX (Austin) - 1,624 DUI accidents
What can drivers do to avoid a drunk driving accident?
Around this time of year, drivers need to be prepared to go out and have a plan if they decide to consume alcohol. Most people have a designated driver who does not drink and drives everyone home.
But even if you follow the rules of the road, it's important to also be on the lookout for impaired drivers this holiday season who could crash into your car. Warning signs that another driver might be driving under the influence include:
- Weaving in between leaves
- Driving erratically
- Driving excessively slow or fast
- Driver failing to signal when turning or changing lanes
If you see someone driving this way, stay as far away as possible from the other driver. You may even want to contact the police if you believe the driver is a danger to themselves and others.
What should I do if a drunk driver crashes into my car?
But even if you do everything right, it's still possible that a drunk driver may crash into your vehicle this holiday season. If that happens, we strongly urge you to take the following steps:
- Call the police - Tell the police a drunk driver crashed into your vehicle and ask the police to respond to your crash.
- Seek medical attention - Even if you feel fine, you could have a serious internal injury or traumatic brain injury.
- Get the driver's information - If possible, get the driver's full name, address, phone number and insurance policy number.
- Talk to witnesses - If someone saw your crash, get their full name and phone number. Witness testimony can make big difference in DUI accident cases.
- Take photographs - Pictures of your crash can go a long way towards helping you get the compensation you deserve for your accident.
- Contact our law firm - We can help you every step of the way, from speaking to insurance companies on your behalf to taking your case to court if necessary.