Traffic fatalities hit all-time high, holidays could be even deadlier

There has been 99 fatal crashes that resulted in 107 deaths in Austin, and now officials say as we enter the holiday season, it can be an even deadlier time.

In 2021, there has been a record setting number of fatalities on Austin roadways, and according to Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) spokesperson Diann Hodges, on Texas roadways as well.

"We are on track to see the most fatalities across the state in car crashes since the early 80’s," Hodges said. "…we’re seeing an aggressiveness in driving that we haven’t seen in a long time."

A crash Tuesday night at South Congress and Little Texas Lane involving a vehicle and a pedestrian made for the city of Austin’s 99th fatal accident. Compared to this time last year, there were 86 fatal crashes and 92 deaths.

"For whatever reason, in the last two years, we’ve been seeing fatalities jump," Hodges said.

The Austin Transportation Department tells FOX 7 Austin that the most severe crashes are occuring on higher-speed, wider roadways, such as freeways. A map from Vision Zero shows the high-injury roadways and where the accidents occur. The map shows high-concentrated areas along South 1st near Slaughter Lane and William Cannon Drive, East Riverside and Pleasant Valley, MLK Boulevard, Parmer Lane, and Braker Lane.

However, Hodges says these crashes are happening all over and throughout the state, adding the main thing people can do to is to be a respectful and responsible driver.

"That way you can ensure that you, your loved one you may have in your car, and the other people who are driving trying to get to their destination get to where they need to go," she said.

For those traveling this holiday season, TxDOT wants to stress that more people will be on the road and road conditions might change. Travelers can stay up to date on the latest traffic conditions online here.

Expect busy days at ABIA through Thanksgiving travel season
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