A fatal crash on Interstate 35 in June 2012 in Waco. (File)
(November 8, 2013) Every day for the past 13 years at least one person has died in a traffic accident on Texas roadways.
It's a grim milestone to mark, said Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Ken Roberts, but one that hopefully by addressing the numbers can bring to mind an effort by drivers to exercise increased safety while traveling.
Since Nov, 7, 2000 more than 45,000 people have been killed in crashes on Texas highways, Roberts said in a news release issued Friday.
TxDOT announced the numbers on Friday "in an effort to break the streak of carnage," the release said.
"Having at least one person killed on a Texas road every single day for 13 years is a sobering reminder that we must drive carefully and do everything in our power to stay focused behind the wheel," said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director.
"These people are our spouses, children, friends and neighbors, and losing them to traffic deaths has a profound and permanent impact on their families," Barton said.
"This staggering number of fatalities needs to stop increasing every 24 hours, and taking personal responsibility for our driving habits is the first step."
Texas has not had a fatality-free day since Nov. 7, 2000.
Since then, 45,032 motor vehicle traffic deaths have occurred on Texas roadways.
Despite a steady decline in traffic fatalities in recent years, Texas recorded an 11-percent increase in fatalities from 2011 to 2012.
TxDOT's study revealed the leading cause of traffic deaths continues to be drivers who are influenced by alcohol.
To date, 13,544 alcohol-related fatalities have been recorded since Nov. 7, 2000.
Distracted driving also is a leading cause of roadway deaths, the report said.
Since Jan. 1, 2008, there have been 2,719 fatalities caused by distracted driving.
There also have been 5,469 deaths recorded of people who were not wearing seat belts, Barton said.