Traffic trends can be difficult to analyze. Increases or decreases may be a one-time anomaly, or they can be part of a larger trend. Changes may be attributable to many different causes or a combination of causes.
But the sad reality remains that San Antonio sees many fatalities every year as the result of serious injuries sustained in auto accidents.
The Changes in San Antonio Traffic Fatality Rates
The San Antonio Express-News reports on some of the recent traffic trends in San Antonio. 2016 saw an increase in traffic accident deaths over previous years, including an increase of more than 20 percent over 2015 numbers. This was followed by a drop of 26 percent in 2017. However, it is difficult to say whether this drop was the result of important traffic safety programs implemented by local government traffic safety agencies. It could also be a leveling-out by which the statistics returned to regular rates.
Part of the statistical problem is that San Antonio alone is a relatively small sample size. In order to recognize statistical trends accurately, it is necessary to gather more data over longer periods of time. It can, therefore, be helpful to look at trends in traffic deaths across Texas and the United States as a whole. The Express-News also reported on statewide traffic fatality data provided by the Texas Department of Transportation. This, too, showed an increase in traffic fatalities in 2016 followed by a decrease in 2017. It also showed that statewide traffic fatalities have been slowly on the rise since 2010.
National traffic fatality rates have shown a similar trend. The Washington Post reports that United States traffic fatalities hit an all-time low in 2011. This was the result of a sharp drop in the number of vehicles on the road after the economic crisis of 2008. The housing market crash, the stock market crash, and massive layoffs meant that fewer people could drive for leisure. But the economy slowly recovered. Unfortunately, traffic fatalities have been steadily climbing ever since 2011. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than 37,000 fatal injuries were sustained on roads nationwide in 2016.
Real San Antonio Traffic Accidents
Traffic accidents are, of course, more than abstract numbers and statistical trends. Real San Antonio injury victims and their families suffer lifelong losses as a result of traffic accidents. My San Antonio reports on a particularly deadly night in January 2018, which saw three separate fatal accidents across the city.
In the first accident, a driver attempted to flee the scene of a previous collision. He drove up on a raised median and struck a light pole. This caused the vehicle to crash into a piece of construction equipment, killing the driver.
The second accident saw a driver on the South side of San Antonio veer into oncoming traffic and strike another vehicle head-on. The wrong-way driver - who was not wearing a seat belt - died at the scene.
Finally, a third accident occurred in the Northeast part of town when another driver veered into oncoming traffic and struck a utility pole. He, too, was not wearing a seat belt, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Accidents such as these have a devastating impact on injury victims and surviving family members. A San Antonio auto accident attorney can help guide injury victims and their families through the claims process after an auto accident, so they can focus on recovery.