While car manufacturers have added sophisticated technology to new vehicles to improve their safety, many people are still seriously injured or killed in traffic accidents in Texas each year. There are also differences between different racial groups in terms of accident risks because of multiple factors. The state and federal governments need to take action to help to reduce the risks of fatal collisions by improving infrastructure and reducing speeds on roads through residential neighborhoods.
Who has the highest risk of dying in a traffic accident?
In 2020, an estimated 38,680 people in the U.S. were killed in traffic accidents. This was the highest number of traffic fatalities since 2007. When reviewing the data for different racial groups, Black people were much likelier to be killed in collisions. The number of fatalities among Black people increased by 23% from 2019. Researchers state that this disparity is caused by several factors.
Factors causing higher fatality rates for Black people
Black people are much likelier to live in poverty in urban neighborhoods. In the 1950s, the federal government worked to modernize the nation’s highways and routed many high-speed roads through Black neighborhoods. Infrastructure spending has also generally been directed to more affluent neighborhoods, and Black neighborhoods are less likely to have sidewalks and crosswalks while also having higher speed limits on the roads that go through them. Black people are also likelier to walk, and some cannot afford to buy cars.
The government needs to spend more on infrastructure in Black and brown neighborhoods to help to reduce the fatality rate. With infrastructure improvements, including more sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and better roads, the disparity in the fatality rates between racial groups might be reduced. Lowering speed limits on streets that go through Black neighborhoods might also help to reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents in these neighborhoods. Motorists also need to slow down and pay more attention to pedestrians who are walking on the sides of streets who might try to cross so that they can avoid collisions.