Texas the deadliest state for drivers over the New Year’s holiday, study says

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A new study released this month by Cannon and Dunphy finds that more deadly crashes happen on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in Texas than any other state.

Information in the study was compiled using National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data from the holiday starting with New Year’s Eve 2013 to New Years Day 2014, and New Year’s Eve 2017 to New Years Day 2018. Nearly 200 Texans died over a five-year period on those days.

When state population is taken into account, Texas has the fifth highest crash rate in the country for the holiday.

Studies have also shown the New Year’s holiday marks the most dangerous time to be out walking. Austin-Travis County EMS says in the past five years, the city has averaged about four to five pedestrians being hit on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. One of those pedestrian crashes was deadly.

Data from the Texas Department of Transportation shows the highest number of deadly crashes happens between 2-3 a.m., right after the bars close. Drivers in those crashes tend to be younger, with 21-25 year-olds being the most at-risk, and 26-30 year-olds being the second highest at-risk.

“We have discovered that almost all of these are 100% preventable,” said Austin-Travis County EMS Captain Christa Stedman. “That being said, when we show up on a scene we have a job to do, and it doesn’t change anything about how we are going to respond. But, it is something that sticks in the back of your head. We didn’t have to be here doing this.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows the Austin area sees fewer crashes than the Houston and Dallas areas over the New Year’s holiday. Those two cities lead the state and are second and third in the country for the highest number of fatal crashes over the holiday.

According to the data, in the past five years, there have been 26 fatal crashes with 30 fatalities in Harris County and 20 fatal crashes in Dallas County.

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