According to some experts, the Austin area is seeing a disturbing rise in the number of traffic deaths in 2021.
A representative of a nonprofit group called Farm & City says that, through the last part of September, Austin had seen 91 fatalities related to motor vehicle accidents.
At the same time in 2020, the number of deaths stood at 67. The number was 62 in 2019.
If the current trend holds, deaths are going to increase by just over 20% from 2020 to this year and over 30% when compared to 2019.
Interestingly, the overall number of automobile accidents in the Austin has decreased in the same period of time. Also, other cities in Texas have not seen the same spike in traffic fatalities.
Poor driving habits may be to blame for the increase in fatalities
One person who works for the Austin Transportation Department indicated that speeding and other bad driving habits have contributed to the rise in fatalities.
He said that he hoped authorities would increase enforcement of Texas’s traffic laws. He also said that the city was still trying both to make intersections safer and to reduce local speed limits.
The spokesman for Farm & City said he believed that the fatality rate has increased because the population is facing a general mental crisis, which in turn contributes to dangerous behavior like speeding and drunk driving.
Obviously, though, something needs to be done to turn around this disturbing trend. While of course law enforcement efforts help, it is really up to drivers themselves to be safe while on the road.
When drivers fail in this basic responsibility and kill someone in an accident, the victims’ families are entitled to compensation for the responsible driver’s negligence.