Galveston Road Safety Overview

Galveston Road Safety Overview

Car accidents in Galveston are an unfortunate reality for many residents and visitors to this island city. While any city or town in Texas sees car accidents, you may wonder how safe Galveston is compared to other communities across the state, especially considering that it connects with I-45, one of the deadliest highways in Texas.

Keeping motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians safe on and around Galveston’s roads and highways takes the concerted efforts of all who share the streets. Take a closer look at the level of safety you can expect on the road in Galveston.

How Common Are Car Accidents in Galveston?

Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) show that in 2022, there were 1,638 motor vehicle wrecks in Galveston. This same year, 7,019 collisions of all types occurred throughout Galveston County. In other words, almost 15% of all traffic crashes in Galveston County happened within the city.

These numbers also attest to the frequency with which wrecks happen in the area. In Galveston, about 4 crashes occur every day. Throughout the entire county, the average number of crashes per day is approximately 19. Within Galveston’s city limits, a traffic collision of any type happens approximately once every six hours.

With a population of about 15% of the total population of Galveston County, the City of Galveston accounts for a disproportionate number of motor vehicle wrecks.

Injury and Fatality Statistics

In 2022, 19 people died in 15 fatality accidents in Galveston, accounting for less than half of the 45 fatal crashes that killed 50 people in Galveston County that year. A total of 33 other people were seriously wounded in 25 car accidents in Galveston. The county as a whole witnessed 200 cases of serious motor vehicle injuries as the result of 166 wrecks.

Galveston is particularly dangerous for pedestrians. According to ValuePenguin, Galveston saw three pedestrian fatalities per 10,000 residents averaged between 2016 and 2020. This figure was the highest number of the cities surveyed, beating out cities like Dallas and Beaumont.

Factors Contributing to Fatal Accidents

TxDOT’s data also highlights conditions and factors that can lead to fatal accidents in Galveston and throughout the state. These factors include the following:

Failing To Drive in a Single Lane

Failing to maintain one’s lane of travel is the single deadliest contributing factor in Texas car accidents. In 2022, this factor alone was present in over 800 fatality wrecks in Texas. There can be a number of reasons why a driver cannot keep within their lane, including alcohol, weather, and inattention. 

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Being inebriated and under the influence of alcohol was responsible for 714 fatality crashes in 2022. A drunk driver will have difficulty with all aspects of safely operating a vehicle, from controlling the speed of the vehicle to remembering the right-of-way laws. A drunk driver may also fail to see other cars, trucks, and pedestrians in time to avoid colliding with them.

Failure To Control Speed

All drivers have a general responsibility to make sure they are always in control of their vehicle and driving at a reasonable pace for the road conditions. No matter what the speed limit is, drivers can and should reduce their speed if it appears necessary to reduce the risk of crashing. 

For example, drivers should slow down during heavy downpours because roads can become slippery. In 2022 alone, 577 fatal accidents were caused by drivers who did not reduce their speed.

Pedestrians Failing To Yield the Right of Way

Drivers are not the only ones whose negligence can lead to a fatal collision. Pedestrians who did not follow right-of-way laws were responsible for 553 fatal accidents. These laws include prohibitions against crossing the street away from a crosswalk or crossing at a crosswalk when a light shows that it is unsafe to cross.

Driver Inattention

When you travel the same roads in Galveston without incident over and over, you become accustomed to the street. You can begin to recall the twists and turns even before they happen. The fact that you have used the road so many times in the past without incident can lead you to simply assume that this present trip will proceed without a crash as well.

In this state of mind, you are not ready to recognize and react quickly to hazards and dangers. As a result, when your attention is focused on other things, your brain can take a longer time to see others in the roadway or dangers that require swift action to avoid. Varying your routes and scanning the entirety of the roadway while you drive can help avoid driver inattention.

Texas Is an At-Fault Insurance State

When motor vehicle accidents do happen in Texas, the party whose negligence is primarily responsible for causing the crash pays compensation to the injured party. This is known as a fault-based or “at-fault” insurance system that keeps innocent drivers and passengers from having to foot the bill for medical treatment and repair bills that the other driver caused.

Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule that limits drivers from recovering anything if they are the primary cause of an accident. As long as you are not more than 50% responsible for the accident, you will have the opportunity to seek a damages award through a settlement or a trial verdict.

Motor Vehicle Safety in Galveston

Given its size, Galveston’s roads are about as safe as any other comparable community. This does not mean that drivers can let their guard down when getting behind the wheel in this area. Accidents can and do happen in Galveston, and both drivers and pedestrians can do their part to keep the city’s roads safe by following all applicable laws and remaining vigilant at all times.

If you do find yourself injured in a Galveston wreck, a skilled car accident attorney can help you explore your legal options.