By George Slaughter
The statistics include those that cause injury to drivers and passengers, the sheriff’s office said.
According to the sheriff’s office, 16 fatalities occurred on Fort Bend County roads between Jan. 1 and Sept. 15, versus 11 in the same time period in 2020, a 45% increase.
The sheriff’s office said there has also been an increase in the total number of major crashes, rising from 548 in 2020 to 619 in 2021, a 13% increase.
Crashes in 2021 increased by 15.6% for a total of 2,535 in 2021 compared to 2,193 in 2020, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office will be implementing traffic safety programs to inform the public about the dangers of distracted driving, speeding, and failure to follow roadway construction warnings.
Part of the safety programs will be increased traffic enforcement, which have proven effective at reducing crashes related to driver error. However, the county has many suburban roads and farm-to-market roads where drivers are being killed and where reducing speed would prevent most crashes.
“Sheriff’s office personnel urge the public to drive safely and help reduce injuries and fatalities in our county,” Sheriff Eric Fagan said. “Everyone’s driving safety is of great concern to us.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas fatality crashes increased by 11% during the first quarter of 2021. The Texas Department of Transportation also reported rising fatalities, with 1,426 deaths on Texas highways this year alone.
Fagan said roadway construction projects to widen roads, as well as speed and consumption of alcohol are contributing factors.
“Driving more defensively, reducing speed, designating a driver to take you home if you have been drinking alcohol, and delaying the urge to text is perhaps the best advice I can give,” Fagan said.