Fatalities on East Texas Roadways on the Rise


Fatalities due to vehicle crashes across the Atlanta District have been on a steady rise over the past few years, and officials with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) are sounding the alarm to drivers about this disturbing trend.

“In 2021, there were 135 people killed in crashes across our nine-county district,” said Atlanta District Director of Transportation Operations Rebecca Wells. “That number is up from 119 vehicle fatalities in 2020, and 78 vehicle fatalities in our area in 2019.” “What’s also very alarming,” Wells said, “is that in 2020, our district led the state in the number of roadway deaths per vehicle miles traveled.”

Speed is among the top contributing factors for fatal crashes in this area. “Drivers are running red lights, they’re driving way too fast on roads that cannot accommodate those speeds, and drivers are distracted and not wearing seat belts,” Wells said. “Drivers need to make paying attention, buckling up and slowing down a habit. This is something they can do every day to ensure that everyone gets home safely.”

TxDOT’s Atlanta District includes Bowie, Cass, Camp, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Panola, Titus and Upshur Counties.

Last November, Texas marked 21 years of daily deaths on our roadways with more than 75,000 lives lost to preventable, fatal crashes. TxDOT officials want everyone to do their part to #EndTheStreakTX. That includes encouraging others to make safer decisions behind the wheel through this social media and word-of-mouth effort to end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roads.

“We all want our loved ones to come home at the end of each day,” said Atlanta District Engineer Buddy Williams. “Be the driver you want your child, your parents or other loved one driving next to on the highway.”

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