Nearly 500,000 car accidents occur in Texas every year. About 3,600 people lose their lives, averaging nine deaths a day. In the past four months in Dallas alone, 36 have died on the road. The last day without a fatal car crash in Texas was twenty year years ago. 

To change this tragic trend, the city of Dallas adopted the Vision Zero plan last year, aiming to reduce traffic collisions to zero by 2030. The plan also seeks a 50% reduction in severe injuries resulting from vehicle accidents. The Vision Zero plan includes measures such as road dividers, speed cushions and new crossings for pedestrians that helps drivers to slow down. The city is also working on improving sidewalks.

To achieve this goal, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) plans to invest over $24 million in 51 road safety projects in the next three years in Dallas. Another 34 projects estimated to cost at least $15 million will also be reviewed by 2026, according to D Magazine (via Reddit).

“Speeding is the No.1 contributing factor in county traffic fatalities, with driving under the influence second,” said TxDOT district engineer Ceason Clemens. “Between 2019 and 2022, almost half of all fatalities involved victims not wearing seatbelts. Roughly 35% were speed related, and 30 to 35% involved impaired motorists. Pedestrians accounted for almost 20% of all traffic fatalities in Texas.”

TxDOT collects vehicle-accident-related data to find causes of accidents, whether it was engineering, driver education or other responses to reduce fatal crashes.

“We look at all these emphasis areas to see if there’s something on our roadways that we could change and hopefully make it more forgiving roadways,” Clemens said. “But a lot of it is driver’s behavior.”

The city will have rumble stripes on all roads, improved road barriers, pavement markings, traffic signals and courtesy patrols. The department of transportation also approved projects that allow the addition of sidewalks and the improvement and installment of traffic signals.

Dynamic speed signs they plan to install can warn fast drivers are going. Councilwoman Gay Donnell Willis questioned the effectiveness of the signs, but Clemens replied that they are a proven short-term deterrent. 

Clemens also stated that law enforcement is required to be more effective.