Traffic fatalities increasing across the country

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 9:41 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Traffic fatalities are increasing across the country, according to a recent report from the National Safety Council.

The NSC reports more than 46,000 people died in preventable traffic crashes in 2022.

TxDot says they’ve seen about a 2% uptick in traffic fatalities in the past year due to unrestrained and distracted drivers.

“You want to make sure what’s in front of you, what’s on the side of you, who’s trying to pass you that shouldn’t be trying to pass you, you need to really watch your speed,” said TxDot Odessa District PIO Maryann Cedillo.

The NSC found that compared to 2019 the mileage death rate has increased by 22%.

Cedillo says out of the 83 unrestrained fatalities in Odessa, nine were out of state drivers and 35 were from Odessa. The rest were licensed drivers from elsewhere in the state.

“The Permian Basin is considered a rural district, however with our oil and gas industry we have  a lot of big truck traffic,” said Cedillo.

The majority of the increase they’re seeing is in men.

“More men than women, I think it’s because we have a lot more of the heavy traffic drivers that are male,” said Cedillo.

Cedillo says a lot of crashes happen within 5 to 10 miles from your home, often because you feel too comfortable.

“What might be the same as what you think will be the same isn’t always the same so again there could be construction on the roadway there could be a crash, a bicyclist, someone walking that’s different,” said Cedillo.

Cedillo says distracted driving is also an issue, you could look away from the road for a minute and have driven the length of a football field.