Promote safety
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Promote safety

Goal: Champion a culture of safety.

Objectives:

  • Reduce crashes and fatalities by continuously improving guidelines, innovations, awareness, and education.
  • Reduce employee incidents.

Annual fatalities and fatality rate

Number and rate of deaths on Texas roadways. The safety of drivers on Texas roadways is TxDOT’s top priority. We strive to reduce crashes and deaths by continually improving guidelines, innovations, awareness, and education. Tracking traffic safety related measures informs us of the effectiveness of improvements and initiatives we take.

There were more traffic fatalities and a much higher fatality rate in 2020 than in 2019.

A reportable motor vehicle traffic crash is any crash investigated by a Texas peace officer and reported to TxDOT for processing. The crash must occur or originate on a traffic way and result in the injury or death of a person, or property damage of any one person to the apparent extent of $1,000.

The number of annual fatalities is the total number of deaths in traffic crashes in a calendar year.

The fatality rate is the ratio of annual fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in a year.

Annual serious injuries and serious injury rate

Number and rate of serious injuries on Texas roadways.

There were fewer serious injuries but a higher serious injury rate in 2020 than in 2019.

A serious injury is one that prevents the continuation of normal activities. Examples include broken or distorted limbs, internal injuries, or a crushed chest.

The annual number of serious injuries is the total that occurred in traffic crashes in a calendar year.

The serious injury rate is the ratio of annual serious injuries per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in a year.

Fatality emphasis areas

Number of deaths in specific focus areas on Texas roadways.

All emphasis areas except distracted driving saw more fatalities in 2020 than in 2019.

Fatality emphasis areas include the number of deaths in traffic crashes by specific contributing factors (distracted driving and driving under the influence), person types (pedestrians and pedalcyclists), or road locations (run off the road and intersections).

Texas peace officers can cite multiple emphasis areas in a single crash resulting in a fatality. For example, a driver under the influence of alcohol who crashes and dies while texting would be reported as a fatality due to both “DUI” and “distracted driving.”

Why these matter? The safety of drivers on Texas roadways is TxDOT’s top priority. We strive to reduce crashes and deaths by continually improving guidelines, innovations, awareness and education. Tracking these traffic safety related measures informs us of the effectiveness of improvements and initiatives we take.

Employee injury rate

Measurement of the injury count per 100 employees. The safety of all Texans, including TxDOT employees, is TxDOT’s top priority. A reduction in injuries to TxDOT employees will lead to more time on the job fulfilling TxDOT’s mission.

The employee injury rate in fiscal year 2021 was slightly higher than in 2020 but remains low overall.

The employee injury rate is the number of injuries per 100 employees. It is calculated based on the Department of Labor’s incidence rate formula, which is the total number of injuries times 200,000 divided by the total hours worked.

The number 200,000 represents the number of hours worked in one year by 100 employees. Total hours worked is the sum of all employee hours for the year.

Note: The standard industry injury rates use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable injury standard, which defines an injury as one that requires professional medical attention beyond simple first aid (such as fractures, sprains, or loss of a limb). The TxDOT Employee Injury Rate is more comprehensive and includes first aid cases.

Mission Zero initiative: how we keep our employees safe

In 2011, the Mission Zero initiative was launched to create a higher level of focus and accountability for safety at TxDOT. The goal is to achieve zero employee fatalities, zero employee injuries and zero vehicle incidents. Since the inception of Mission Zero, there has been a substantial reduction in every category. We have also benefited from the cost-savings associated with fewer claims and liability.

Central to Mission Zero is the philosophy that safety drives decisions, takes precedence over schedule, involves everyone, includes accountability and is paramount to investing in our employees.

Safety programs supported by Mission Zero include:

  • Backing Incident Prevention Program – The program focuses on preventing fatalities and injuries due to vehicle back-up incidents.
  • Boots on the Ground Assessments – The program involves safety professionals, local supervisors and staff to better support crews during daily operations by identifying safe work practices and potential job hazards.
  • Stretch and Flex Program – The program’s goal is to reduce and prevent common strain and sprain injuries by stretching and strengthening muscles and joints susceptible to work-related injuries.
  • Driver Improvement Program – The program focuses on providing ongoing assessments and training for safer driving behaviors.

TxDOT embraces goal to end deaths on Texas roads

How many deaths are acceptable each year on Texas roads? At TxDOT, we believe the answer is zero.

But sadly, the last day without a death on Texas roadways was Nov. 7, 2000. More than 75,000 people have died in crashes in Texas since that day. For the past several years, about 10 people have died every day in crashes in the state.

To reverse this deadly trend, TxDOT, with the support of the Texas Transportation Commission, set a goal to end all fatalities on Texas roads by 2050. We’ve also targeted cutting fatal crashes in half by 2035, which would reduce annual fatalities to about 1,800.

Most crashes and fatalities are preventable and caused by things such as speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and failure to stay in one lane. Below are some examples of what TxDOT is doing to help:

  • Engineering roads to be more forgiving of driver behaviors.
  • Adding roadside rumble strips to alert drivers if they start moving off the road.
  • Using median barriers to prevent head-on collisions.
  • Implementing technology like flashing LED signs and radar sensors to prevent wrong-way collisions.

Additionally, our #EndTheStreakTX campaign reminds Texans that they can play a major role in ending fatal crashes by adhering to a few simple driving habits: wearing seatbelts, driving the speed limit, putting away cellphones and avoiding distractions, and never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The campaign also encourages drivers to use #EndTheStreakTX on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media accounts to show their support for safer driving in Texas. We do believe we can end our daily death streak, but it’s going to take every Texan and driver on the road to take responsibility and ownership of this.

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