Traffic safety experts see increase in crashes in the Brazos Valley

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 6:49 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - “We are seeing more crashes; more significant crashes.”

That’s according to Mary Jo Prince. She’s the Program Manager for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition & Statewide Initiatives and a traffic safety expert.

She says some factors include less crowded roads, lax use of seatbelts, and high driving speeds.

Prince tells us she doesn’t believe that the re-opening of bars has affected crash frequency but notes that drinking at home probably has.

“We’re seeing more private parties with people drinking,” Prince explains adding that the stress of the pandemic can contribute to drivers getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.

“Crashes are not accidents," Prince says. She explains that all crashes are preventable and it’s the onus of the driver to ensure safety on the road.

Prince says that while drivers in Texas are driving less, the number of deaths per 1,000,000 miles driven is going up and so is speeding. She says she’s concerned because a lot of these incidents of speeding are occurring at 20 or more miles per hour.

The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service has a whole list of tips for drivers to minimize the risk of being involved in crashes. You can find those here.

But Prince’s main concern is that there has not been a single day in almost 20 years without a death on Texas roads.

She says it will be 20 years on November 7th.

She’s hoping that safe drivers will be able to break the streak in the next three weeks.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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