Wednesday marked a milestone for Texas. But the 12-year anniversary was no reason to celebrate.
The last day the state saw a single day without a motor vehicle fatality was Nov. 7, 2000, according to Sr. Trooper, Dub Gillum, public information and safety education officer for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
Since that date, at least one person has died every day - a total of 41,252 fatalities - on a Texas highway or roadway.
"Almost the population of San Marcos," Gillum said in a press release Thursday.
“One fatality on a Texas roadway is one too many, and to see as many as eight or 10 in a single day is unacceptable,” Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director, added. “As we acknowledge these tragic statistics, we are asking Texans to please help us make our roadways safer.”
Last year, the state experienced 3,048 traffic fatalities, with the majority resulting from motorists or passengers who were not wearing seat belts, were intoxicated or driving while distracted.
Almost 30 percent of the people killed in fatal crashed in 2011 were not wearing a seatbelt, almost 35 percent were attributed to drinking and driving and more than 13 percent were related to distracted driving, such as texting, according to TxDOT.
On Wednesday, the state agency reported 2,545 motor vehicle fatalities had occurred through the end of October. The statistics are updated monthly and the reality is displayed on message signs along state highways.
Additionally, TxDOT continues to educate drivers through various seasonal campaigns that focus on the following simple steps for safe driving: pay attention, buckle seat belts, put cellphones away, use the left lane for passing only, never drink and drive and obey all traffic laws.